Zinedine Zidane doesn’t understand Karim Benzema absence from France set-up

PA Sport Staff
·2-min read

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane questioned why Karim Benzema continues to be frozen out by France after the striker hit a brace in a LaLiga win at Celta Vigo.

Benzema scored twice en route to a 3-1 victory – a 10th in a row for Los Blancos, who move second behind city rivals Atletico as a result.

The forward opened the scoring by collecting a Toni Kroos pass and firing home, before the same pair combined to double the lead as Celta were caught in possession trying to play out from the back.

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The hosts would pull one back through Santi Mina’s header and Iago Aspas would hit a post before Benzema laid on a late third for Madrid as Marco Asensio headed in.

Benzema, 33, has not played for his country since 2015 but has a run of eight goals in six games and Zidane – who won the World Cup with France in 1998 – believes the continued omission can only be a good thing for Madrid.

“You can’t understand that Benzema doesn’t play for his country,” Zidane told reporters after the win.

“Lots of people don’t understand it – but I’m happy as the coach of Real Madrid. He’s done a great job for the team.”

Santi Mina headed in what proved to be a consolation for Celta
Santi Mina headed in what proved to be a consolation for Celta (Lalo R. Villar/AP)

Zidane was pleased with the start his side made on Saturday afternoon, as well as their response to Mina’s header.

“We read the match well and we started well, strong and controlling possession.

“We did well defensively, the first half was spectacular – it was a shame they scored right before half-time.

“After that we suffered a bit in the second half but I think we deserved to win.”