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Griezmann: I am not the anti-Benzema

France forward Antoine Griezmann insists he is not the “anti-Karim Benzema” and has called for the Real Madrid striker to given another chance with Les Bleus.

Benzema was not considered for selection at Euro 2016 due to his alleged role in a blackmail attempt surrounding international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

Atletico Madrid forward Griezmann has, conversely, been praised for his conduct on and off the pitch.

But Griezmann admits he too has made mistakes in the past, notably when he was banned from playing for the national team at any age level for 13 months after being involved in an incident with France’s Under-21 side in November 2012, visiting a nightclub in between two important games.

And Griezmann told Parisien Magazine: “What does it mean to be the anti-Benzema? We all have our own personality.

“We should know when to forget. I have also been fortunate. What happened with France Under-21’s changed me. I was only 18 or 19 at the time. I was just a kid who had arrived in the world of professional football and thought he could do anything he wanted.

“But I have learned from my mistakes. I have done everything to change, both on and off the pitch.

“It is the same with Patrice Evra. People made it out as if he was a bad influence when I joined the national team, but he is actually the guy who encourages us all.

“We should not listen to everything that is being said.”

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet recently stated the decision on whether to recall Benzema to the international fold rests solely with head coach Didier Deschamps.


Mon 26 Sep, 2016
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