Karim Benzema has been included in France’s 26-man squad for Euro 2020, coach Didier Deschamps has confirmed.
Benzema, who has scored 29 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid this season, has not played for Les Bleus since 2015 after a blackmailing scandal over which he faces a trial in October.
He also said in 2016 that Deschamps had “bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France” when leaving the forward out of the Euro squad that year.
33-year-old Benzema, who has 27 goals in 81 games for France, features in the 26-man squad alongside fellow forwards Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Kingsley Coman, Olivier Giroud, Ousmane Dembele, Wissam Ben Yedder and Marcus Thuram.
While Deschamps had not picked Benzema since October 2015 and said he would “never forget” his comments, the France coach never stated that he would not call him up again.
Benzema was named best French player in a foreign league by the French professional footballers’ union on Sunday.
Euro 2020, which has been delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, starts on June 11. France are in Group F with Germany, Hungary and Portugal.
France squad for Euro 2020:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham); Mike Maignan (Lille); Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton); Leo Dubois (Lyon); Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich); Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Sain- Germain); Jules Kounde (Sevilla); Clement Lenglet (Barcelona); Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich); Raphael Varane (Real Madrid); Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)
Midfielders: Ngolo Kante (Chelsea); Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid); Paul Pogba (Manchester United); Adrien Rabiot (Juventus); Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham); Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco); Karim Benzema (Real Madrid); Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich); Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona); Olivier Giroud (Chelsea); Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona); Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain); Marcus Thuram (Borussia Munchengladbach)