Karim Benzema in France Euro 2020 squad after almost six-year absence

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been named in France’s 26-man squad for this summer’s European Championship after an absence of nearly six years, the BBC reports.

He has not played for his country since 2015 as a result of his alleged involvement in an attempted blackmail case involving an ex-France team-mate.

Benzema, 33, missed France’s Euro 2016 campaign and 2018 World Cup win as a result of the allegations.

In January 2021 French prosecutors announced Benzema would face trial.

He is accused of paying individuals to extort money from midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, 36, by threatening to make a sex tape public in 2015, but the striker argues a police officer used dishonest methods to draw him into the situation.

After confirming Benzema was in his squad, France manager Didier Deschamps said: “The most important is today and tomorrow.

“There were important steps. We saw each other. We discussed at length. I had a long reflection to come to this decision. I won’t reveal a word of the discussion, that concerns us. I needed it, he needed it “.

Hugo Lloris and Moussa Sissoko of Tottenham Hotspur, Everton left-back Lucas Digne, Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma, Olivier Giroud and N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba of Manchester United are all named in the France squad.

Benzema has scored 27 goals in 81 appearances for France, including netting twice in his last outing for the national team during a 4-0 friendly win over .

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