France hit by Karim Benzema injury scare with the Real Madrid striker forced off in first half against Bulgaria in final friendly before Euro 2020… with Didier Deschamps revealing he took a ‘knock on the knee’
France have been given an injury scare just days before the Euros kick off after Karim Benzema was forced off in the friendly against Bulgaria.
Just three days before Euro 2020 gets underway and a week ahead of France’s opening fixture against Germany, Real Madrid striker Benzema went down with a knee injury in the first half against Bulgaria.
After sustaining the injury from an awkward landing following a header, Benzema immediately signalled to the bench to be replaced, before dropping to the ground at the Stade de France.
Karim Benzema was forced off injured in the opening period against Bulgaria on Tuesday night
The experienced Real Madrid striker was replaced with just minutes remaining in the first half
After treatment on the pitch, Benzema was eventually replaced by Olivier Giroud with just minutes remaining in the opening period on Tuesday night.
And following the final whistle, manager Didier Deschamps admitted he wanted to take ‘no risk’ with his striker.
‘It’s a knock on the knee, which also affects the muscle,’ Deschamps told TF1. ‘He felt he was getting stiff so he asked to be subbed. The medical staff are taking care of him.’
Reports earlier from TF1 claimed that Benzema limped down the tunnel at half-time, but was able to move without any assistance.
Benzema talks to France boss Didier Deschamps on the sidelines after being replaced
Benzema has just returned to the international set-up following six years in wilderness – having previously been cast aside by Deschamps since 2015 following his alleged role in the sex-tape blackmail of former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.
And ahead of his Euro 2020 campaign, the experienced striker recently opened up on his joy at returning for France.
Benzema told Marca: ‘I feel like the happiest man in the world. For me, what makes me happiest is my family and football.
‘I am happy in Madrid, and I have returned with France to play the European Championship; I can only be proud, happy and looking forward to starting the tournament.
Benzema acknowledges those in attendance at the Stade de France as he walks off the pitch
‘It is a very, very strong team throughout, from the goalkeeper to the midfield and the attack, with players in the best clubs in the world. Speaking about the favourite is more something spoken outside of here – we know the strength that we have in this team, although you have to show it.’
World champions France head into this summer’s tournament as favourites, and even without Benzema they would still fancy their chances.
However, they will be desperate that the 33-year-old is fully fit in time for their Euro 2020 opener against Germany next Tuesday evening.