Deschamps confirms 'knock' for France star Benzema ahead of Euro 2020

By Sports Desk June 08, 2021

France head coach Didier Deschamps confirmed Karim Benzema suffered a "knock" that will require further assessment after the world champions finalised their Euro 2020 preparations.

Benzema was withdrawn during the first half of France's 3-0 victory over Bulgaria, having fallen awkwardly after challenging for a header in the pre-Euros warm-up fixture on Tuesday.

With France's opening game at the rescheduled European Championship just a week away – against Germany on June 15 – the sight of Benzema limping from the field represents a major worry for France.

But Deschamps gave little away in his assessment of the blow, telling TF1: "It's a knock on the knee, which also affects the muscle. He felt he was getting stiff so he asked to be subbed.

"The medical staff are taking care of him."

The good news for France is that they have a ready-made replacement for Benzema in Olivier Giroud, who led the line during their victorious 2018 World Cup campaign.

Giroud netted the 45th and 46th goals of his international career late in the second half to move within five of all-time top scorer Thierry Henry's 51 – all despite Deschamps not expecting to use him much against Bulgaria.

"Taking into account the situation in which he arrived, psychologically and especially physically, I had planned to bring him in for less time," Deschamps added.

"He's still a scorer, with a foolproof mind. I'm not going to complain, and the squad will need it too. We will need all our strength. He is part of it too, [that's] good for him and the France team. 

"I think he has played more tonight than the last three months combined."

 

Related items

  • England's Lionesses to face acid test against World Cup winners USA at Wembley England's Lionesses to face acid test against World Cup winners USA at Wembley

    England and the United States are set to pack out Wembley in a tantalising October clash between the Euro 2022 and Women's World Cup winners, hailed by Sarina Wiegman as "the perfect game".

    News of the planned October 7 fixture arrived two days after England completed their European triumph in front of 87,192 spectators at the national stadium in London, beating Germany 2-1 in a final that went to extra time.

    It was a record crowd for a European Championship game, men's or women's, and the feverish support for the women's in England looks set to guarantee another full house.

    The US women's side beat England 2-1 in the 2019 World Cup semi-finals, and the two teams are expected to be among the trophy challengers at next year's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

    England still have work to do to be absolutely sure of their place in that tournament, but a point away to Austria on September 3 or a home win over Luxembourg three days later would make sure. In the highly unlikely event that England miss out on an automatic place, the USA game would have to be cancelled or postponed.

    England boss Wiegman said: "It would be the perfect game for our squad to meet another strong team after so many tough games in the Euros. It is good we enjoy the moment we are in after this wonderful summer, but we know we still have to work to do to take the next step forward."

    USA head coach Vlatko Andonovski is relishing the trip, saying: "This is exactly the kind of match we need at exactly the right time in our World Cup preparations so we can test ourselves against a very talented England team.

    "I saw England play live at the Euros, and I'm looking forward to an amazing atmosphere at Wembley and another big event for women's soccer on October 7."

  • Allegri labels Real Madrid 'strongest team in Europe' after Juventus friendly defeat Allegri labels Real Madrid 'strongest team in Europe' after Juventus friendly defeat

    Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri hailed Real Madrid as "the strongest team in Europe" after the Spanish giants beat the Bianconeri 2-0 in a friendly in the United States.

    A first-half penalty from Karim Benzema was followed by a second-half Marco Asensio tap-in, which was enough to secure the win for LaLiga and Champions League holders Madrid at the Rose Bowl in California in front of a crowd of 93,702.

    It was the final game for both teams on their tours of the USA, and Allegri was left upbeat despite the loss.

    Speaking to Juventus' official website, Allegri said: "A good match that concluded a good 10 days' work in the United States. We were up against the strongest team in Europe, and as long as it was possible to play, we did, trying to manage possession and not give the ball away.

    "I am satisfied with the effort from the boys. We can still grow a lot, though, and there are players who have still to return. Tonight there were chances for both sides, and we should have managed ours with a little more patience.

    "Now we have a couple of days' rest and then back to work because the season is approaching."

    Madrid head coach and former Juve boss Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with his own team's work and believes they are ready for the UEFA Super Cup clash with Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt, which takes place on August 10 in Helsinki.

    "[The tour] has been very positive because we haven't picked up any injuries, aside from a small sprain for [Dani] Carvajal," Ancelotti told Madrid's official website. 

    "The team has worked really well, and we've had no issues. It's been a well-executed pre-season, and now we have the confidence to go and win the European Super Cup".

  • Real Madrid 2-0 Juventus: Over 93,000 fans pack into the Rose Bowl for Madrid show Real Madrid 2-0 Juventus: Over 93,000 fans pack into the Rose Bowl for Madrid show

    Real Madrid treated the 93,702 fans at the sold-out Rose Bowl to a strong performance in their 2-0 friendly win against Juventus, thoroughly outplaying the Italian side by every statistical measure.

    It was almost the best possible start for the Spanish giants, finding the back of the net just 14 seconds in, but the celebrations were cut short by the offside flag. 

    Juventus were the next side to threaten, but Denis Zakaria's hit from the edge of the area found only the woodwork in the 13th minute to keep things tied.

    Madrid fans did not have to wait long for the lead, earning a penalty in the 19th minute, and Karim Benzema made no mistake, giving his side a 1-0 advantage.

    That score would hold until the 69th minute, when substitutes combined as Jesus Vallejo fired a ball across the six-yard box after some tricky interplay, finding Marco Asensio unmarked for the tap-in.

    Madrid did not allow a single shot on target, and controlled 58 per cent of the possession, resulting in an expected goals advantage of 1.7 to 0.47.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.