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Karim Benzema is set for a surprise recall to the France squad for this summer's European Championship, which might make for an awkward first squad meet-up with Olivier Giroud.
The Real Madrid striker laid into Giroud on social media back in March 2020, when stated he is at "Formula One" level while the Chelsea forward is "karting".
Benzema hasn't played for France since before Euro 2016 due to his alleged role in a sex tape scandal surrounding former teammate Mathieu Valbuena. Giroud, meanwhile, has led the line at two international tournaments.
However the Real Madrid No 9 has performed superbly at club level in recent years, which has reportedly prompted manager Didier Deschamps to strongly consider his recall. Benzema's derision of Giroud certainly suggests he views himself as a level above his fellow Frenchman.
"You don't compare Formula 1 with karting, and I am being nice," Benzema was quick to point out on Instagram Live last year, per Daily Mail.
"Next... I know that I am Formula 1.
Giroud deserves to play ahead of you in the national team?- RMadridbabe (@RMadridBabe) March 30, 2020
Karim Benzema: "You don't confuse F1 with go-karting."
"It works because he [Giroud] is there, that is the only reason. It won't be spectacular, he won't do something amazing, but he has his thing.
"Aside from that, does everyone like the way he plays? I don't know."
Giroud has been a regular fixture in Deschamps' side and helped them to World Cup victory in 2018, albeit he did not score in the tournament itself.
However the 34-year-old is Les Bleus' second-highest goalscorer of all time with 44 goals, behind only Thierry Henry (51).
Meanwhile, Benzema hasn't played for his national side after the issue with Valbuena in which he was accused of being involved in an attempt to blackmail the Olympiacos midfielder.
Yet the 33-year-old, who scored 27 goals for France before his international career came to an abrupt halt, has been in superb form in La Liga. He's scored 20+ league goals in each of Real Madrid's last three seasons.
Benzema's international exile led to a Twitter outburst from the player, who was eligible to represent Algeria, last year. "If you think that I am finished, let me play for a country that I am eligible to play for and we will see," he stated per Goal.
But now it appears as though Benzema may well be representing the country of his birth at the forthcoming Euros and maybe even the World Cup a year after that.
Who knows how Giroud will react to a striker coming in who is both competition for a starting place and who has dismissed him in the past?
Perhaps a friendly game of Mario Kart between the pair can sort it out.
All imagery: PA Images/Instagram/Karim Benzema
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