The exiled France striker Karim Benzema refused to accept the claims that he is not a good example levelled by the head of state following a blackmail scandal.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has slammed the criticism levelled at him by French president Francois Hollande.
Benzema was not considered for selection by the host nation at Euro 2016 after being charged as part of an investigation into an alleged attempt to blackmail fellow France international Mathieu Valbuena over a sex tape.
In his new book ‘Un president ne devrait pas dire ca’ – ‘A president shouldn’t say that’ – Hollande offered a general critique of French footballers and their intellect, while stating Benzema was “morally, not an example”.
“What do you want me to say? That I am not an example?” Benzema said, as quoted by Le Parisien.
“I play football, I make people enjoy themselves and I was well educated by my parents.”
Benzema was speaking after Madrid’s 5-1 win over Legia Warsaw on Tuesday.
Despite him now being available to play for France, club action is set to remain his sole focus as national team coach Didier Deschamps has neglected to call upon Benzema for this season’s World Cup qualifiers to date.
“The national team? We’ll see,” the former Lyon player added.
“There’s no point me talking about it all of the time. I have to concentrate on making sure I play well for my club.
“I hope I do get a call from the national team, but I am not going to get anxious about it.
“For me, it’s important to go back to playing with France, but that’s all.”