Real Madrid ‘will NOT stand in the way of Karim Benzema flying to Qatar’

Real Madrid “will NOT stand in the way of Karim Benzema flying to Qatar” to play for France in the 2022 World Cup final against Argentina after the Ballon d’Or winner returns to action in a friendly against Leganes

Real Madrid will reportedly not stand in the way of Karim Benzema flying to Qatar to play for France in the 2022 World Cup finals, amid speculation he could still be called up.

The Ballon d’Or winner picked up a thigh injury on the eve of the big tournament and was sent back to Madrid to undergo rehabilitation from the injury, although the star forward was never replaced in the squad.

The striker has since returned to training earlier this week before also taking part in a friendly for Los Blancos against Leganes earlier today.

Karim Benzema (pictured) returned to action in a friendly match for Real Madrid against Leganes

Real Madrid will not stand in the way of Benzema flying to Qatar for Sunday's World Cup final

Real Madrid will not stand in the way of Benzema flying to Qatar for Sunday’s World Cup final

Benzema wore the captain’s armband in the 1-1 draw that included stars such as David Alaba, Toni Kroos and Lucas Vazquez in what could be a tantalizing boost for France ahead of Sunday’s final against Argentina.

According to AS, the Spanish giants have given the player permission to travel to Qatar to be part of Sunday’s World Cup final.

Benzema remains part of Didier Deschamps' 26-man France squad

Benzema remains part of Didier Deschamps’ 26-man France squad

The same report suggests he will be entitled to a winners’ or runners-up medal depending on the outcome of the meeting with Argentina, as he is incredibly still named in France’s 26-man squad.

The fact that he is still included has led to speculation that the 34-year-old could even still play a role in the final, especially given his return to competition.

France boss Didier Deschamps even gave a cryptic answer when asked if Benzema could feature in the World Cup final – letting out a sigh before smiling and quickly saying “next question”.

The reporter said: “There is a report today that Karim Benzema could return to Qatar. First of all, is it true? And secondly, if it is, is there any possibility that you would be able to use him for a few minutes in the finals if you needed him?

Deschamps seemed annoyed by the question at first as he closed his eyes and puffed his cheeks, before saying “I don’t really want to answer that question,” then quickly smiling as he said, “Next question.”

Then he started to smile as he turned his head and said “I’m sorry.”

Deschamps started to smile as he quickly said

The Frenchman kept his cards close to his chest

Deschamps started to smile as he quickly said “next question” when asked about Benzema

In the absence of Benzema, veteran striker Olivier Giroud has led the line and has proved a vital cog in helping them reach the final by scoring four times at the major tournament and becoming France’s all-time top scorer.

The AC Milan striker has been joined in attack by the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele with Antoine Griezmann offering support from a deeper role in midfield.

They also have the likes of Marcus Thuram, Kingsley Coman and Randal Kolo Muani at their disposal.

But Benzema would be a huge boost, given his track record for both club and country over the years – having scored 37 times in 97 caps for France.

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