He was hated, he is loved again. The Champions League final is the coronation of Benzema

Today it is difficult to imagine Real without Benzema, and also in the following seasons, the more his potential successor Kylian Mbappe, stays with PSG. But KB9 has had its second sports house again for at least a year. After his return to the team, he became an indispensable link in the French representation. It is mainly thanks to his attitude that they “Tri-color” won the League of Nations.

Playing for France helped him to play for Real and vice versa. All this has contributed to Benzema from “l’enfant terrible” once again become one of the favorite footballers in the country where he was born and raised.

Seven years ago, shortly after the media announced the sex tape scandal (Benzema blackmailed his colleague with a compromising recording Mathieu Valbuena), in a survey conducted in France, only 10 percent of French people wanted the Real striker to be called up to the French national team.

Benzema almost got into the country”public enemy number 1″† And that has been the case for years. His attitude and statements – past and present – did not help him to change his image. In a desperate act, after not being called up for Euro 2016 in France, the Lyon-born, Algerian-born footballer accused coach Didier Deschmaps of racism.

At the same time, Benzema was reminded that in 2006 he said that the choice of the French national team was determined by the sport criterion. “My country is Algeria. My parents came from there.“- he said.

Today there are different interpretations of this statement. Defenders of the footballer claim it was twisted by supporters of the far right. Former coaches of the youth team emphasized that Benzema’s choice was never up for discussion. He always wanted to play for France. “He was motivated to play for our team and is proud to wear the French jersey,” said Philippe Bergeroo, former coach of the French U17 and 19 youth team at L’Equipe.

He wrote very sharply in his book about the Real striker Daniel Riolo, esteemed and popular football commentator. “Benzema does not like the French national team. She means nothing to him. He emphasized that” my heart is with Algeria. “He’s not a patriot.

Benzema was also accused of not singing Marseillaise, France’s national anthem. And politicians from the right believed that he could not be appointed – incl. for this reason – to the staff.

Today, however, attitudes towards Benzema in France have changed radically. Recent studies show that half of French people rate this footballer positively, and 68 percent in the RTL survey think he deserved a win in the “France Football” “Golden Ball” survey, in which until recently one of the candidates to win was Robert Lewandowski

The change in perception of the 34-year-old Real player has mainly to do with his attitude on the pitch. Benzema delights the football world. He had an excellent season in La Liga, winning the championship with Real Madrid, scoring 27 goals and making 12 assists. In the Champions League, he scored 15 goals (two more than Lewandowski). He is the most effective player in the tournament.

He returned to the French national team last year after more than five years of hiatus, having been informally punished by Deschmaps for participating in the blackmail scandal with a six-tape Valbuena and for falsely accusing the coach of racism. KB9 has lost a lot. The French became vice-champion of Europe and world champion at the time.

After his return, he proved to be an important link in the still strongest representation. At the European Championship he shone in the match against Portugal (two goals) and the 1/8 final against Switzerland (two goals). In the League of Nations he played brilliantly with Belgium in the semi-finals and Spain in the final. In a way, he proved to be a savior for the French.

His behavior off the field has also changed. Benzema mainly thinks about how to recover and be in shape. Nothing is heard about the scandals concerning him. He enjoys family life, albeit a bit complicated. He makes modest statements, does not participate in public discussion. The only controversy recently sparked by his response in turn, Kylian Mbappe’s decision to stay at PSG. Benzema posted a photo of rapper Tupac Shakur and the man who betrayed him before his death on his profile.

The French fell in love with Benzema again. Valbueny paid 75,000 for the blackmail scandal. a fine and a one-year suspended prison sentence. But even this verdict cannot overshadow his great sporting form. His past sins were forgiven. If he wins the Champions League with Real, he will be a hero again, also in France.

Olgierd Kwiatkowski

Game Liverpool – Real at 21, broadcast on Polsat Sport Premium

Webcast of the Champions League Final 2022 Liverpool – Real to Polsat Box Go.

Video highlights of all Champions League matches on Sport.Interia.pl.

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