Karim Benzema has still not switched to the Euro. Mute during the 2008 and 2012 editions, failed in 2016, the striker is still waiting for this first goal in a European Nations Championship. In thirty shots in this competition, he has never found the net. The number 19 of the Blues nevertheless benefited from a golden opportunity in the first half. Ideally served by Kylian Mbappé, he shot quickly and badly with an outside right foot when he had plenty of time to adjust Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.
Of course, the Madrilenian is not the only one responsible for the tasteless soup served by the France team this Saturday against Hungary (1-1), at the Puskas Arena in Budapest. But with great expectations, great responsibilities. However, it was enough that Didier Deschamps blows the name of the banished when announcing his list for this Euro 2021 for the Europe of football to tremble at the sight of this trio Benzema-Griezmann-Mbappé, promised to remain of the order of fantasy.
With 180 minutes of experience before this match, he is still in the settings that we already ask him a lot and quickly. Against Hungary, he gave relatively little. Kylian Mbappé was (by far) the best of the three. Sharp, the PSG striker was a permanent danger for the defense and we have even seen – event – placed a good recovery of the head. He was also at the origin of the equalizer goal signed Antoine Griezmman by tearing off to recover a ball. As for the FC Barcelona player, this 38e achievement with the Blues brings him closer to three units of Michel Platini, but it also saves an uninspired performance between openings in the void and crosses at the third post.
Didier Deschamps did not cut to a question about the three accomplices at a press conference. The coach asks for time. After all, France are almost qualified with four points and can already look forward to the round of 16. “The margin is still there. Quality, they have it; complementarity, they can have it, advances the coach. But it’s not just them. They are also dependent on the environment… Despite all their qualities, they have few matches together. It can always be better. “
Benzema has all the confidence of Deschamps
Could do better then. Antoine Griezmann also pleaded for patience at the microphone of TF1. “This is only the fourth game that we play together, he recalls. We have to keep working, but I have confidence. I know we’re gonna get there. “ On the ground, the trio do not trample on each other and the Mbappé-Benzema relationship only asks to improve.
But a Euro is not the place to get to know each other and procrastinate in front of the opposing cages. This is especially true for Karim Benzema. Before his missed opportunity at the 31e minute, the Real striker made some interesting moves before disappearing from circulation. While he swears he’s not obsessed with statistics, a center-forward also lives by goal and the confidence it brings.
Didier Deschamps does not see his attacker brooding. “He knows that he is expected on this aspect even though I told him: it’s not just that. The main thing is that he keeps his confidence. And let him keep my confidence. I don’t think there is any doubt given his background and his experience. He does some very good things but he fails to materialize. “
In the last quarter of an hour, the boss of the Blues separated his trio and replaced Benzema by an Olivier Giroud who was chomping at the bit on the bench since the start of the competition. But the Chelsea striker had neither the time nor the opportunity to shine and possibly reshuffle the cards. Didier Deschamps waited too long to align the three stars of French football not to give them the necessary credit to treat France and the Euro. And why not from June 23 against Portugal for the revenge of the final lost in 2016?
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