Karim Benzema praised his teammates after guiding France to the 2021 UEFA Nations League trophy on Sunday (October 10). The victory marked Benzema’s first title with the national team since being left out of Les Bleus‘ World Cup-winning squad in 2018.
Benzema was brilliant for France in the Nations League final against Spain. Didier Deschamps’ men fell behind in the 64th minute after Mikel Oyarzabal’s excellent finish. But La Roja‘s lead didn’t even last two minutes.
Upon receiving the ball on the left, Benzema cut inside onto his right foot before curling a peach from the edge of the box. Spain custodian Unai Simon got his fingertips on the shot, but the Real Madrid forward’s effort found the back of the net regardless.
Kylian Mbappe then scored from Theo Hernandez’s pass under controversial circumstances to give France the lead with 10 minutes to go. Deschamps’ side held on to their slender lead to secure the title.
Speaking to L’Equipe (via Get French Football News) after the win, Benzema said:
“I’m very proud. I’m really happy for the whole team. Most of all, we put in two great performances of a very high level.”
The forward added that winning the title as well as his comeback into the team has fuelled his ambitions to win more with France.
“I’ve been very happy with my work for a long time. To come back into this team and to win makes me happy, yes. This title gives me even more ambition for the future with this team. Because this team has great potential.”
Benzema also spoke about his stunning effort against Spain, noting that he practiced the same in training.
“[My goal] is a play that I often practise in training, but usually close to the post. I scored a few during the warm-up already. I always try to get it on target, but when it comes to those goals, you always need a bit of success.”
Karim Benzema has been on fire for Real Madrid and France in recent times
Karim Benzema was one of France’s best players at Euro 2020 in the summer. The striker scored four goals in as many games for Les Bleus, who were knocked out by Switzerland in the Round of 16.
Benzema has also begun the 2021-22 club season in tremendous form for Real Madrid. The Frenchman has recorded an incredible nine goals and seven assists in nine La Liga matches this term. Benzema’s efforts have helped Los Blancos top the league table. He also has one goal in two matches in the Champions League.