France manager expressed his displeasure over persistent media queries regarding forward Karim Benzema re-joining the squad ahead of the final. Benzema left the French camp days ahead of its World Cup opener after picking a thigh injury.
The question of his return has been regularly posed to Deschamps since it was reported that the striker had started training with Real Madrid. Answering yet another enquiry on the subject, the France coach said: “Benzema was injured at the start and then Lucas (Hernandez) and then we had 24 players in the squad, and they are the players at my disposal for the final. It’s not fair on those 24 to ask about others.”
There are also reports that France President Emanuel Macron, who will there in the stands again for the final, is planning to bring Benzema and other injured players like N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba for the final.
Deschamps, however, refused to be drawn into the debate. “I don’t know who is coming to watch the game and I am not interested in that. I lost three players at the start and now I am focusing on the 24 players we have,” he said.
In the Qatar World Cup, France, despite missing key players like Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, and Benzema, became only the seventh country in the 92-year history of the tournament to make it through to back-to-back finals.
Ahead of Sunday’s final, however, Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate were among five France players who missed training on Friday as the squad has been affected by flue.
Earlier this week, three other players — Dayot Upamecano, Adrien Rabiot, and Kingsley Coman — were struck down by illness.
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