Benzema wants France call-up

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Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is still hoping for a return to the France national team in time for next year’s World Cup in Russia.

The 29-year-old from Lyon has not featured for Les Bleus since scoring twice against Armenia in 2015, before he was involved in a scandal with teammate Mathieu Valbuena and excommunicated from the team.

"You have to make the most of all opportunities," he told Les Inrockuptibles. "Of course I want to come back to the France team. Which footballer does not dream of playing a World Cup?

"I try to be the best in my club and we will see in the end. Talking is no longer useful and it can be misinterpreted. I don't speak anymore; I do not say anything anymore. I try to have good performances and win titles.

"It's difficult to understand the perception that people can have for me in France, but I don't think I can change that.

"There is a small minority who enjoy saying anything every day, thinking that it can improve audience or sell papers."

Benzema has scored just twice for Real Madrid in 10 appearances across all competitions this season.