France boss Didier Deschamps has said that he does not think Karim Benzema will ever be a truly prolific scorer – but has praised the Real Madrid forward.
Benzema is currently frozen out of the national team due to a sex tape scandal involving team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, yet his judicial review was lifted on Friday, which is considered a crucial first step for him to return to the squad ahead of Euro 2016.
While Deschamps wants the 28-year-old available for the competition, he has warned the public not to expect too much of the striker.
“He will never be a great goal scorer, even if that’s expected of him,” the France coach toldL’Equipe. “He brings more to the construction of the play.
“You aren’t an attacker at Real Madrid for five years, under Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafa Benitez or Zinedine Zidane otherwise.
“Every nation wants a striker like that.
“When I hear that he had a bad World Cup because of the match against Germany…”
The coach explained Benzema’s role at club level is judged less on goals by the coaches because of the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo.
“In Madrid, the responsibility of scoring is on another player,” he said. “In the France team, everyone is on him when he doesn’t get a goal.
“He participates a great deal in the play. We are seeking link up, someone to be complementary to the others. We will always expect goals, because Karim Benzema’s at Real Madrid. It’s not like that.”
Meanwhile, Deschamps believes the forward needs to show better body language on the field.
“He is not a fighter. He gives the impression of being less involved than others,” he said. “I often speak to him. He depends on the other players, too.”
Benzema has scored 27 times for France, having been capped on 81 occasions.
Download our mobile app today.