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Official: Karim Benzema announces international retirement



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Taking to Instagram, Real Madrid captain Karim Benzema has seemingly announced his decision to retire from international football, following France’s FIFA World Cup 2022 final defeat to Argentina.

Benzema, widely recognised as one of the finest strikers of the modern era, made his debut for Les Bleus more than 15 years ago in March 2007. The 35-year-old went on to make as many as 97 appearances for Les Bleus, scoring 37 goals in the process.

However, his international career was not short on controversies either, as he was frozen out of the France setup for close to six years due to his involvement in the blackmail scandal involving Mathieu Valbuena.

As a result, he was not part of France’s FIFA World Cup triumph in 2018. Benzema did make a comeback to the national team setup in recent years and was part of the side that won the UEFA Nations League last year.

While he had been called up to the squad for the recently-concluded World Cup in Qatar, an injury just before the tournament forced him out. Didier Deschamps decided to send the striker home and did not contemplate a recall even though the Real Madrid icon recovered quickly enough.

Now he has announced his decision to step away from international football entirely.

“I made the effort and mistakes it took to be where I am today and I’m proud of it!
I wrote my story and ours ends,”
he wrote on his social media.

Recent reports had suggested that Benzema’s relationship with the national team setup had deteriorated completely. In light of those speculations his decision to announce his international retirement does not come as a surprise.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid angry with the ‘sins’ Ancelotti committed against Atletico Madrid – report



Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid may have just lost one of their seven games so far this season. Yet, Carlo Ancelotti’s ability at the club is already in question. Such are the high standards at the Spanish club that even a single loss is seen with great criticism. 

Ancelotti owned up for the team’s defeat to Atletico Madrid after the game at Civitas Metropolitano. He admitted that he could have done things differently in retrospect and took the lion’s share of the blame. Yet, the offices at Real Madrid do not appear pacified.

Ancelotti’s list of sins

MARCA (h/t Madrid Xtra) has brought out a list of ‘sins’ committed by the Italian gaffer against Diego Simeone’s side which directly played a part in the team’s poor showing and has angered the Real Madrid hierarchy.

For starters, Ancelotti’s decision to drop Joselu has not gone down well at the Valdebebas. The Spanish striker was after all in good goalscoring form and was decisive in the team’s recent games.

The second big mistake, as the Madrid offices see it, is the unnecessary change in formation. Real Madrid were performing well enough and did not warrant shifting Jude Bellingham to a forward role for the derby.

Mistakes in midfield

The list of errors does not end there. MARCA add that Ancelotti’s decision to rest Aurelien Tchouameni in arguably the most important game was the single most decisive factor that gifted Atleti the game. After all, the Frenchman has been in imperious form this season.

Another of Ancelotti’s decisions that upset the Real Madrid hierarchy from Sunday’s game was his call to start Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

It was the first time this season that the two veteran superstars started together in midfield, with Ancelotti’s choices showing that he still relies on them for the big games when the hierarchy wishes for him to give the younger midfielders a go in the big games.

With the team set to return to action in less than 48 hours, it remains to be seen how Ancelotti makes up for his errors.

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