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Pires: Benzema’s time with France is up!

By DAVID KWALIMWA

Former Arsenal player Robert Pires has sensationally claimed that fellow countryman Karim Benzema’s time with the French national team “is finished”.

Pires made the remark while speaking at a function during his three-day visit to Kenya, a trip made possible by Barclays Bank, who are the title sponsors of the English Premier League.

Benzema has endured difficult recent weeks, in the wake of inconsistent performances on the pitch for both club (Real Madrid) and country and a well publicized extortion allegation by his national teammate Mathieu Valbuena, which remains under investigation by the French authorities.

Pires, who won both the Fifa World Cup and English Premier League titles during a highly successful playing career, was critical of his compatriot stating:

“I think Benzema’s time with France is up. Benzema used to think he was the number one striker for France so he’s untouchable. No! He might be the number one striker at Real Madrid but not for France. I think he’s finished.”

Responding to a question on Benzema’s off the pitch woes, Pires, who also featured for Olympic Marseille and Villarreal, said:

“You are obviously referring to the sex tape. He only plays with his legs, but in football you also have to use your brains. Football is not just about passing and scoring.”

Both Benzema and Valubuena have since been excluded from national team duties by coach Didier Deschamps, leading to speculation over the pair’s chances of featuring for the French national team at the Euro 2016 on home soil.