The reason why Zinedine Zidane refuses to attend the World Cup final
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Zinedine Zidane has turned down the opportunity to attend the World Cup final in favour of staying out of the limelight amid reports about his future.
France take on Argentina in a repeat of the Round of 16 tie between the two at the World Cup in Russia four years ago, where the European side triumphed 4-2 in a highly entertaining match.
The former France captain is heavily linked with taking over the national team role from Didier Deschamps following the completion of this tournament.
The former Real Madrid midfielder reportedly turned down the Paris Saint-Germain job in the summer following Mauricio Pochettino's departure from the club.
He has turned down the invitation from the French Federation, as he doesn't want to take any of the focus away from what could be a historic night for his country.
The former Real Madrid manager is the clear favourite to take over the national team role given his success at Real, most notably winning three Champions Leagues in a row from 2015-2018.
Considering Deschamps has been in the role since 2012, his future had been called in question prior to the tournament.
During his time in charge, he's overseen plenty of success during that time, and could even win back-to-back World Cups in what would be a truly elite achievement.
Benzema chose to comment on the situation and was on hand to post a cryptic message on Instagram following the news that his old manager would be in attendance for the WC final.
His response was seen on Instagram, where he uploaded a picture of him hugging the France legend during the Ballon d'Or ceremony, accompanied with the caption: "Bonne niut" - which translates to "Good night".
The pair have a strong relationship from their time together at Real, with Zidane calling the Ballon d'Or winner 'the best striker in French history' following his win at the inaugural awards.
However, Benzema and Deschamps have clearly fallen out, with the France boss shutting down any idea of the forward featuring in the final: "Benzema in the final? I don't take care of the invitations to injured players."
Benzema on Instagram: “I’m not interested 💥 “ pic.twitter.com/rHnVmAauoq— Real Madrid Info ³⁵ (@RMadridInfo) December 17, 2022
Benzema returned to action for Madrid in a behind-doors mid-season friendly with Leganes this week but will not be re-joining the French squad.
Strangely, the 34-year-old forward would still be eligible for a medal, given that he was never replaced in the squad following his late injury prior to the start of the tournament - the same goes for Lucas Hernandez, who suffered a serious injury in the opening game win over Australia.
France will be looking to create history by winning the tournament back-to-back for the first time since Brazil in 1962, whilst Argentina are hoping their star man Lionel Messi can create history once again.