Karim Benzema unfollows most France teammates on Instagram after retiring from squad

Karim Benzema unfollows most France teammates on Instagram after retiring from squad
France striker Karim Benzema has unfollowed most of his French teammates on Instagram days after he retired from Les Bleus.
2 min read
24 December, 2022
Benzema retired from the France team a day after their World Cup final loss [Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty]

Karim Benzema has unfollowed several players from the French football team on Instagram after abruptly retiring from international duty, hinting at larger issues within the national squad.  

The France and Real Madrid forward, widely regarded as one of the world's best players, was unlucky to miss out on the Qatar World Cup after suffering an injury just before the tournament. 

As the competition unfolded, several reports surfaced of tensions within the France squad around the striker.

Some claimed that Benzema was fit enough to appear in the final against Argentina, but that France coach Didier Deschamps had decided not to recall him. 

There had also been suggestions that veteran squad members Hugo Lloris and Antoine Griezmann viewed Benzema’s potential return as a blow to their leadership.

Benzema reportedly unfollowed all France players except Kylian Mbappe, Eduardo Camavinga, Marcus Thuram and Raphael Varane. He later re-followed Real Madrid teammate Aurelien Tchouameni, according to Spanish outlet Marca.

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Benzema has been involved in several scandals during his footballing career. In 2015, the striker was suspended from the team after being investigated in connection with an alleged attempt to blackmail teammate Mathieu Valbuena. 

He was recalled to the national team nearly six years later for the Euro 2020 tournament by Deschamps.

He announced his retirement from international football on Monday, a day after France's defeat to Argentina.