Karim Benzema is to make a stunning return to the French national team this summer – more than five years since his last appearance for his country.
The 33-year-old Real Madrid forward has had a superb season for his side, and has scored 22 goals and created eight assists in La Liga.
However, it was widely assumed that he would never represent his nation again after he was dropped by Didier Deschamps in 2012 over his alleged involvement in the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape scandal.
The two men had a public falling out, with Benzema accusing Deschamps of having “bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France.”
But the pair appear to have put their differences behind them, and Benzema has sensationally been included in the 26-man squad to take part in the upcoming European Championships.
It comes with Benzema set to stand trial in October on the charge of complicity in attempted blackmail, relating to the incident from 2012 in which it is claimed he may have pressured Valbuena to pay blackmailers who were threatening to reveal in intimate video of the attacking midfielder.
France will be considered one of the hot favourites for the Euros following their success in World Cup 2018, and the addition of a striker of Benzema’s quality will only add strength in depth to their fearsome looking front-line.
They already boast quality such as Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, while also included in the squad are Premier League stars such as Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante and Hugo Lloris.
Manchester United’s Anthony Martial, however, missed out, along with Tanguy Ndombele of Tottenham.
Full France squad:
Lloris, Mandanda, Maignan. Dubois, Pavard, Zouma, Koundé, Varane, Lenglet, Kimpembe, Digne, L.Hernandez. Kanté, Pogba, Rabiot, Tolisso, Sissoko. Benzema, Giroud, Mbappé, Thuram, Coman, Ben Yedder, Griezmann, Lemar, O.Dembélé.