Mesut Ozil: No Karim Benzema, no party


According to Mesut Ozil, the reason France lost their thrilling World Cup final to Argentina was because Karim Benzema wasn’t there.

Didier Deschamps’ team had given Benzema a spot in the squad for the tournament as they sought to become the first country to successfully defend the championship since Brazil in 1962. The Ballon d’Or winner was anticipated to play a significant role at the World Cup by Les Blues.

The striker may have rejoined the lineup during the competition after regaining fitness and after being named in the initial squad, but he was ultimately forced to withdraw from the competition due to a thigh injury.

Even the invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron to travel with his VIP entourage to see Sunday’s final in Qatar was turned down by Benzema. It came after the striker posted cryptically in French on Instagram, “Not interested.”

Without the Ballon d’Or winner, France didn’t exactly struggle to score goals. Olivier Giroud, who scored four goals throughout the tournament to become the French national team’s all-time leading scorer, has replaced Benzema in the starting lineup.

The country’s loss in the World Cup final on Sunday was not the result of a lack of offensive firepower, as Kylian Mbappe scored an incredible hat-trick and won the Golden Boot with eight goals overall, becoming the first player to score a treble in a World Cup final since Sir Geoff Hurst in 1966.

However, after the game, Ozil, a member of the German team that won the World Cup in 2014, tweeted: “No Benzy, No Party.” Before Ozil joined Arsenal, the two studs worked together in the Real Madrid assault between 2010 and 2013.

Five minutes before halftime, Giroud and Ousmane Dembele were replaced by Marcus Thuram and Randal Kolo Muani, forcing Deschamps to completely overhaul his offense.

Benzema’s injury prevented him from being selected for the World Cup despite rejoining France’s team last year after a six-year sabbatical. He scored 10 goals in 16 international appearances since Deschamps helped him reintegrate into the team, starting in the center of a three-man attack.

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