France easily won the friendly against Bulgaria in the run-up to the European Championship on Tuesday. The team of national coach Didier Deschamps triumphed 3-0, but saw Karim Benzema drop out injured at the Stade de France.
It is not known exactly what benzema is suffering from and how serious the injury is. The Real Madrid striker was no longer running smoothly at the end of the first half and soon made the gesture of having to be switched. Olivier Giroud came in for him in the 41st minute.
The loss of the 33-year-old Benzema is a downer for national coach Deschamps, who decided to call up the striker for the European Championship after a six-year absence from the national team. Benzema made his comeback in last week’s home game against Wales (3-0 win) and provided an assist.
It was Benzema’s first international appearance since October 8, 2015 against Armenia. In that match, the 83-time international also scored for his country for the last time. He was not called up for years because of his role in the extortion case involving then-co-international Mathieu Valbuena.
Griezmann and substitute Giroud important for France
At the time of Benzema’s change, France led 1-0 through a goal from Antoine Griezmann, who scored with a change of direction. Substitute Giroud made it 2-0 in the 83rd minute and also netted the third goal in the final minute of regular time.
The 34-year-old Giroud now stands at 46 goals for the French national team. The 107-time international needs five more goals to match Thierry Henry as France’s all-time top scorer.
Reigning world champion France is in a tough pool at the European Championships with Germany, reigning European champions Portugal and Hungary. The French start the tournament on June 15 in Munich against Germany.
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