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Two France stars were happy with Benzema being sent home from the World Cup – report



Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Tensions between Karim Benzema and France have been running high over the past few weeks, especially after the striker was sent home from Qatar prematurely for a minor injury. Now, the striker has seemingly cut all ties with the team to end the story.

Benzema announced his retirement from the French National Team yesterday, less than 24 hours after the team’s painful defeat to Argentina in the final of the World Cup. Many theories have come to the fore regarding the tensions between the parties, and Romain Molina has come out with some critical information on the same.

The journalist reports that Antoine Griezmann and Hugo Lloris were happy with Karim Benzema’s departure from the National Team camp just before the World Cup. Both players were against the striker’s return in the first place and celebrated his return.

The Atletico Madrid and Tottenham superstars considered themselves the leaders of the France team and were unhappy with Benzema being in the squad.

The Ballon d’Or winner worked hard to return to the National Team for the World Cup after missing the 2018 edition owing to his exile from the team. Moreover, he missed Real Madrid’s last two weeks before the tournament hoping to recuperate from his muscular setback.

After seemingly recovering just in time, Benzema suffered a thig injury in a training session and was sent home by the coach. He recovered in less than two weeks and was understandably unhappy about being excluded from Deschamps’ plans without a proper evaluation of his situation.

While announcing his retirement too, Benzema took a direct dig at the National Team setup and management by saying that he had tried his best.

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

Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann had a great tournament himself and undoubtedly benefited through Benzema’s absence as he had no direct competitor. He provided three assists in seven games in what was a historical run.

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Atletico Madrid News

Atletico Madrid among clubs weighing up a summer move for €20 million Barcelona defender



Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Having successfully raided FC Barcelona for the signing of Memphis Depay during the January transfer window, Atletico Madrid could look to bring in another player from Spotify Camp Nou come summer.

Indeed, according to SPORT, Atletico are among clubs who are interested in signing Barcelona ace Sergino Dest, who is currently away on loan at AC Milan.

Dest has been out of favour at Barça since Xavi Hernandez arrived at the club back in November 2021. The USMNT right-back was sent out on loan to Milan last summer so that he can play regularly.

The Rossoneri have the option of signing the ex-Ajax man permanently for €20 million, but are unlikely to take it up as the right-back has largely underwhelmed during his time in Italy, playing just 14 games in all competitions.

But, that has seemingly not deterred clubs in La Liga, including Atletico Madrid, who are reportedly willing to take a punt on Dest in the summer.

As things stand, Atletico have Nahuel Molina as their primary right-back, but the Argentine has not been consistent enough in his debut season at the club.

Matt Doherty arrived on a free transfer from Tottenham in January but has only played 12 minutes so far, indicating where he stands in Diego Simeone’s scheme. So, a new right-back might not entirely be ruled out at the Civitas Metropolitano come summer.

Dest, though, is also attracting interest from Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal, while an unnamed MLS club also want the right-back.

Barcelona, for their part, wish to recoup the €20 million they spent on him almost three years ago, which could become a roadblock for Atletico Madrid if they do indeed pursue the right-back with greater intent.

As things stand, there is just initial interest and there is nothing concrete from Atletico or any clubs. Only time will tell if that changes once Dest returns from his loan spell.

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