Karim Benzema doesn’t expect Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid to part ways this summer, even despite the growing speculation about the coach’s future.
Benzema is enjoying a good time of late. The No.9 was recalled into the France squad for the first time in six years for this summer’s European Championship, having had a good season with his club.
“He’s been the Real Madrid coach until now, right?” Benzema said in an interview with L’Equipe. “I don’t see him leaving. He won’t leave, you’ll see.
“If he leaves, he leaves… but for now I don’t see Real Madrid without Zidane.”
The French forward has always enjoyed a positive relationship with his compatriot, even if the coach hasn’t been afraid to point out when he does something wrong.
“Zizou has always been honest with me,” Benzema said. “Close and very sincere.
“He tells me when things are going well, but also when they’re not. Whether in training or matches, he’s always very open about it. He’s very direct with me and that’s why I respect him so much. That gives me confidence on the pitch.
“He’s my coach, but he’s like an older brother. He’s always supported me, whether I’m doing well or not, and he’s helped me to get better every year.”
Benzema‘s return to the France squad came as something of a surprise to everyone, and the forward explained how he received the news that he would be going to the European Championship.
“I was at home in Madrid,” Benzema said. “I received a lot of messages.
“Rumours had grown, and I was waiting in front of my television like everyone else. I had all of my relatives on the phone.
“I had met with the coach, but at no time did he tell me I’d be in the squad. We spoke, we had a long conversation about a lot of things and not just football.
“We spoke about life, about family, about everything. But at no point did you say to me ‘you’ll be at the European Championship’. All I thought after the conversation was that we had taken a big step forward together and that it was a positive, and I said to myself that I had to keep working hard.”
Despite the No.9’s own impressive season, Real Madrid ended the campaign empty-handed, with Atletico Madrid winning LaLiga Santander and Barcelona claiming the Copa del Rey.
“We’ve had 60 injuries,” Benzema said. “We haven’t, at any time, played with our normal team.
“A lot have had COVID, even Zizou. It’s been a difficult season, but we reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and fought in LaLiga [Santander] until the final day.
“We could have won everything, but we lost everything. That’s how football goes. I’m disappointed, but I’m happy to go to the European Championship, and I’m still hopeful of winning a trophy this season.”