Karim Benzema targeting Euros glory on France return: ‘My ambition is to win’

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Karim Benzema targeting Euros glory on France return: ‘My ambition is to win’
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Karim Benzema has set his sights on winning Euro 2020 as he prepares to play in his first major tournament for France in seven years.

France kick off their campaign against Germany on Tuesday night in Group F, which also features Portugal and Hungary.

It is the toughest group at the Euros, but at least France have been boosted by the return of Benzema.

The striker has not played for his country since 2015 as a result of his alleged involvement in an attempted blackmail case — he denies any wrongdoing — involving his former France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, and he is due to stand trial this year.

Despite that, France manager Didier Deschamps recalled Benzema for the Euros and now the 33-year-old has his sights on lifting the trophy.

“My objective is simple: I want to win it. It’s simple,” Benzema said. “I have a lot of trust, a lot of respect for all the other teams but there is always a lot of ambition as well. My ambition is to win.”

Benzema is expected to start on Tuesday night and could form a lethal attack alongside Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, who fired France to World Cup glory in 2018. “They’re used to playing together, whereas I’ve just arrived,” said ­Benzema.

“So, I need to keep doing what I’ve been doing for Real Madrid and bring that in for the best interests of the France squad. After that, I don’t know whether ‘adapt’ is the right word here, but they’re such good players that it’ll make things easy.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Germany go into the game as underdogs, and despite a 7-1 trouncing of Latvia in a friendly last week, their form has been patchy. However, Chelsea defender Antonio Rudger is upbeat about their chances.

“France look stronger on paper, but that’s just on paper,” he said.

“They can be favourites for all I care, they obviously have great forwards. We need to dig deep and show what we’re made of. We’re ready. We’ll see what happens in the end.”

Germany manager Joachim Low is eager to get started.

He said: “You can feel positive tension in the air and anticipation. I really thought, ‘Finally!’ when I got on the bus to come here. I’m calm, relaxed, and think that in the last 14 days we have done what we wanted to.”

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