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"I'm not Santa Claus" - Deschamps closes door on Benzema return


France head coach Didier Deschamps has dismissed calls for a Karim Benzema return. 

The Real Madrid striker won the last of his 81 international caps in October of 2015, scoring twice in 4-0 friendly win over Armenia.

Benzema's international career was shelved prior to Euro 2016,  due to an investigation into an attempted blackmail of international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

The striker denies any wrongdoing.

Following the decision to omit him from their hosting of the European Championships, Benzema claimed Deschamps had "bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France". Shortly thereafter, Deschamps' home was vandalised with graffiti calling him a racist.

"Even if with time it calms down a bit, I can't forget," the France head coach told RTL earlier this year, "It's not just about Karim Benzema.

"There are statements by other people too that have led to this violent act, which affects my family."

Deschamps added, "Saying certain things necessarily leads to verbal or physical aggression. I suffer the consequences. We cannot forget. I cannot forget. I will never forget."

However, the 33-year old's form with Real Madrid has led to renewed calls for a France recall ahead of Euro 2020.

Benzema has scored 21-goals in La Liga this season, adding a further 6 in Real's run to the Champions League semi-finals.

Although Euro 2020 squads can contain an expanded sum of 26 players, Deschamps does not appear keen to welcome back the prodigal son.

"I am not Santa Claus, I am not here to announce surprises," he told Kicker, "I am fine-tuning it little by little, I have players who, like Munich's Corentin Tolisso, are still recovering, and I do not yet have all the information on their condition.

"I will announce my list of players on May 18, but there will also be matches after that."

The official UEFA deadline for squad confirmation is June 1, with France due to play Germany, Hungary and reigning champions Portugal in Group F next month.

"I will have players who will participate in the two European Cup finals," Deschamps said, "We have to hope that everything will turn out well, because unfortunately we cannot avoid the unexpected.

"The only list that matters is the one we send to UEFA on June 1 at midnight."

Aymeric Laporte set to choose Spain over France for Euro 2020



Read more about

Didier Deschamps Euro 2020 France Karim Benzema Mathieu Valbuena

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