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Karim Benzema: “Didier Deschamps gave in to pressure from a racist part of France.”

Speaking in an astonishing interview with Marca, Karim Benzema openly declared war on Didier Deschamps and the decision made no to select him for EURO 2016, as well as on Mathieu Valbuena.

On his state of mind:

In life, we must not be spiteful. We have to learn from our mistakes and in difficult times, think. Now, I am calm, composed, I have won to the maximum with Real Madrid. France will realise that she was unfair to me.

On EURO 2016:

I was already very disappointed not to be part of the 2010 World Cup, but the Euros at home is even harder to take. It is one of my greatest disappointments, without any doubt, but aside from that, in life I have known other difficult moments.

You have to get back up and I want to go as far as possible in my career. From a football perspective, I would have had a place in the team. But then they invented all these stories and it is hard, of course, to accept and forget it. Luckily, I have always felt that Real Madrid was on my side. Also, I won the Champions League and things are going a little better.

On his critics:

They criticise me a lot in France, me, my family and my entourage, but if I was a bad person, if I was poorly advised, I would not be where I am today. 5 years at Lyon, 7 years in Madrid, winning titles.

On coming back to the French national team:

Of course. They made up a rule: “not selectable” – ok. But in terms of football, I do not understand why, and from a legal point of view, I have not had a trial, I am not guilty, we will have to wait until the court reaches a verdict.

From the moment that I am again available for selection, if they want me, for me there is no problem. I love football and I love to play for my national team.

On Didier Deschamps:

Is he racist like Cantona suggests? No, I don’t think so. But he gave into pressure from a racist part of France. You have to know that in France, the extreme party reached the second round of the most recent elections.

So I do not know if it was only Didier’s decision, because I get on well with him, with the president as well. With everyone really.

On his popularity:

I have more than 40 million fans on social media and people says that people do not like me. It is ridiculous. There was lots of pressure, certainly, but that is the fault of certain journalists who said things on TV that were not true.

On Mathieu Valbuena:

In this story, the only person who knows what happens, who knows the truth, is Valbuena. He played a role, he did not tell the truth, because if had have done so we would not be where we are today.

I wanted to help him, nothing more, and the situation came back to bite me.

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