Karim Benzema, France’s star striker announced retirement from the international football on Monday. A day after his national team lost the FIFA World Cup final against Argentina, Benzema posted a message on social media handles on his 35th birthday.
Benzema, who made his debut in the year 2007, has scored 37 goals in 97 games.
“I made the effort and the mistakes it took to be where I am today and I’m proud of it! I have written my story and ours is ending,” Benzema wrote accompanied by a picture of him in a France shirt.
Benzema won the Ballon d’Or award for 2022 in Paris for his performance at the 2021-22 European football season. The Real Madrid player also became the first Frenchman to receive the award since 1998 when Zinedine Zidane claimed it. Benzema played a crucial role in guiding Madrid to the Champions League and La Liga titles last season. Benzema who was also named the UEFA Player of the Year in August, has moved up to second place on Madrid’s all-time scoring list with 329 goals.
After receiving the award, Benzema had said, “This makes me really proud, all the work I did, I never gave up. I had two role models in my life, Zidane and Ronaldo as well. I always had this dream in my mind that everything’s possible. There was a difficult period where I wasn’t in the French team but I worked hard and never gave up, kept my head down and enjoyed playing football.”
After he made his way back in the France’s national team after being out for five and a half years due to a sextape blackmail scandal involving Mathieu Valbuena, the France’s forward couldn’t play this year’s World Cup due to injury. He tore a muscle in his left thigh during training with Les Bleus and his dream for winning the title was over even before his team’s campaign in Qatar started.