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France suffer Benzema injury blow as forward limps off one week ahead of Euro 2020 kickoff

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France striker Karim Benzema limped out of Tuesday’s friendly against Bulgaria in a worrying sight for Les Bleus.

The Real Madrid star has been recalled to the national team after a six-year absence and is poised to play a starring role for his country at Euro 2020. But that could now be in doubt after the 33-year-old picked up a knock in the first half against Bulgaria.

Benzema appeared to be injured in a challenge with Bulgaria defender Ivan Turitsov during the first half at Stade de France. The Real Madrid striker attempted to continue on following the clash but he went down in the 37th minute and signalled to the sideline that he would require a sub. Benzema appeared to be favouring his right knee as he went down to the pitch in Paris. Olivier Giroud was introduced into the match in the 41st minute, replacing Benzema.

The striker was originally exiled from the France squad following his role in the Mathieu Valbuena sex tape scandal. While it appeared his international career was over, Benzema continued to be prolific at club level and scored 23 La Liga goals for Madrid in the recently completed 2020-21 season.

Benzema’s form convinced national team boss Didier Deschamps to offer him a return to the Les Bleus setup as he was named to France’s Euro 2020 team. The striker made his first appearance for France in almost six years last week, as he saw a penalty saved against Wales.

France begin their Euro 2020 campaign next Tuesday when they take on Germany in Munich.