France manager Didier Deschamps has called on Karim Benzema to replicate his Real Madrid form for his country at the World Cup.
Les Bleus take on Honduras in their first group game today, and the Los Blancos man should start up front for the 1998 World Cup winners.
But despite being one of the most feared forwards at club level, Benzema has often struggled to shine on the international stage, although he warmed up for the tournament with a brace in France’s 8-0 thrashing of Jamaica last weekend.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the game, Deschamps said everyone knows how dangerous Benzema can be and how difficult he can be to play against. The striker helped Los Blancos to the Copa del Rey and Champions League titles this year and formed a lethal understanding with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
Deschamps said: “He has always played at a high level, although he has had some downs. But we have all seen what he has done for Real Madrid, how relaxed and concentrated he is. And that’s good.”
The France boss added that he has faith in all his players after a good build up in the friendlies.
“We have prepared the best way possible. With the friendlies we played, the training sessions, everything for this match. But it’s what we’ll do tomorrow that matters. We won’t change anything now, or get more anxious just because the match is just around the corner,” he stated.