France’s Karim Benzema announces retirement from international football

2022 Ballon d’Or winner scored 37 times in 97 France games

France striker Karim Benzema has announced his retirement from international football – on his 35th birthday – a day after Les Bleus lost against Argentina on penalties in the World Cup final.

The Ballon d’Or winner, who scored 37 times in 97 appearances, was expected to lead the line for France in Qatar but missed the tournament after sustaining a thigh injury in training the day before it started.

“I made the effort and mistakes it took to be where I am today and I’m proud of it!” Benzema wrote on Twitter. “I wrote my story and ours is ending,”

Benzema made his international debut in 2007. He played at the European Championship in 2008 and 2012 and at the 2014 World Cup but was omitted from the next two major tournament squads over a blackmail scandal.


He was recalled last year for Euro 2020, where Didier Deschamps’s side lost in the last 16, and helped France win the Nations League in October 2021.

Benzema enjoyed a stellar campaign with Real Madrid last season, scoring 44 goals in 46 games as he inspired them to a La Liga and Champions League double.

Since his return to the international team, Benzema had scored 10 goals in 16 appearances.