Nasir Blasts France Coach Over Benzema ‘Stupidity’
Former France international Samir Nasri has told Canal+ he believes it is “an act of stupidity” to have sent Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema into international exile.
France coach Didier Deschamps has said Benzema, linked to an ongoing investigation into the alleged extortion of former international teammate Mathieu Valbuena, is available for selection but has not called him up since October 2015.
And Nasri, who called time on his international career aged 27 after Deschamps did not include him in his 2014 World Cup squad, said he felt the coach was being “unfair.”
“I feel sorry for him [Benzema], because he really wants to come back to play for the French national team,” he said.
“It’s really unfair what is happening to him. It’s silly to overlook a player like that. You could have an attack of [Kylian] Mbappe, Benzema, [Antoine] Griezmann, [Ousmane] Dembele. For me, it’s an act of stupidity.”
Following Deschamps’ decision not to include Benzema in his Euro 2016 squad, the coach’s house was vandalised, with the word “racist” daubed on an exterior wall.
That came after claims by Benzema that Deschamps “has bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France.”
Nasri also backed Hatem Ben Arfa, who has been frozen out of Paris Saint-Germain’s first-team squad and has been training with the reserves.
“When you’re a footballer and you love it, you need to play,” he said. “I’d never be happy to be on the bench or play with the reserves.
“But I can understand Hatem and Paris could have made an effort, given him half-a-year’s pay for him to leave and everyone would have been happy.
“You mustn’t forget that it was a moment of madness by the club to sign him last year, and they could have made an effort.
“When you can pay €220 million or €180m for a player, they could have given half a year to Hatem Ben Arfa.”