France manager Didier Deschamps has revealed there were certain steps taken before Karim Benzema was recalled into the national team for the upcoming EURO 2020 tournament.
The Real Madrid forward was out in the cold for five-and-a-half-year over his alleged role in a blackmail plot.
The 33-year-old has not played for France since October 2015 but is now in line to lead France's attack, alongside Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griiezmann.
"There were a few steps before he came back into the France team. But I won’t go into detail. It is between me and him. The first step was having the opportunity to meet and have a long talk,"
"Then I went through a whole thinking process. So he’s here now. He is happy to be with us, I am happy to have him here, and so are the squad because our purpose is the same. We all want to be as competitive as possible,"
The striker has been in sensational form for Real Madrid in recent seasons, and Deschamps expects him to deliver for the national team.
"What can he bring to the team? What he does. What he’s been able to do with [Real Madrid] over the past few years, and what he used to do with France even if it was quite a long time ago and he is a different player now.
"He has improved, he is more mature, for sure. But that doesn’t just apply to Karim – it is the same for all players. It is a matter of experience. But he can do a lot. He is a leader from a technical point of view,"
France open their campaign with a crunch game against one of the tournament's favourites, Germany, and Deschamps understands well the pressure.