Real Madrid boss Zidane baffled by Benzema’s continued France snubs

Benzema Celta Real Madrid LaLiga

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has said he can’t understand why his side’sin-form striker Karim Benzema continues to be overlooked by the France national team.

Benzema scored a double on Saturday and provided a late assist as Madrid defeated Celta Vigo 3-1 to continue their La Liga title pursuit.

With the winMadrid moved to within three points of first-place Atletico Madrid, who have a game in hand over their city rivals.

“How can we understand why Karim doesn’t go with the national team? There are many who don’t understand it,” Zidane said in his post-game press conference.

“But it’sbetter for me as coach of Madrid that he stays. He has done a great job for us.”

Benzema has not featured for France since 2015, when he was accused of blackmailing team-mate Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape in which the then-Marseille player appeared.

The Real Madrid striker has since missed out on multiple major tournaments, including Euro 2016 in his homeland and France’s successful run to the World Cup title in 2018.

Benzema has played at two World Cups and two European Championships for France, scoring27 goals for Les Bleus in 81 caps.

The 33-year-old has been in red-hot form for Madrid this season, scoring 23 goals in 32 appearances in all competitions.

After his brace on Saturday, Benzemahas scored in six straight appearances and now has a double in back-to-back La Liga matches.

Madrid will face Eibar on April 3 after the international break, followed by a Champions League quarter-final first leg against Liverpool three days later.

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