Benzema, 32 next month, has been a consistent goalscorer throughout his professional career and has represented France over 80 times.
But the former Lyon marksman hasn’t played for Les Bleus since 2015, partly due to an alleged blackmail plot against former international teammate Mathieu Valbuena the same year.
Karim Benzema struck his 50th Champions League goal for Real Madrid on Wednesday night
Real Madrid legend Zidane said he doesn’t exactly ‘know what’s going on’ in terms of Benzema’s exclusion from Didier Deschamps’ set up, but feels that his man is ‘the best’ for the job – and added that he’s always wanted to do it.
‘He’s always wanted to play for the French side,’ Zidane told a news conference on Friday ahead of Saturday’s clash with Eibar. ‘To be honest, I don’t know exactly what’s going on.
‘But from a football point of view, he’s the best. I think he should definitely have a place in the French national team. It’s beyond my role here, but he should definitely be called up.’
After reaching the milestone, the French striker insisted he is ‘no legend’ of the Spanish giants
Zinedine Zidane doesn’t exactly ‘know what’s going on’ in terms of Benzema’s France exclusion
Benzema’s midweek brace against Galatasaray in the Champions League – which included his 50th goal in the tournament for the club – brought him above Alfredo Di Stefano in Los Blancos’ all-time goal-scoring list, behind only Raul and Cristiano Ronaldo.
This led Zidane to compare the striker to the Portuguese, saying: ‘His numbers speak for themselves. Those that like football know he’s a quality player. He’s important for the team, for attacking… he does it very well.
‘The only thing that’s changed since Cristiano Ronaldo [left for Juventus] is that Karim is more mature. He’s a father and, well, many things have happened lately which are reflected on the pitch.
He hasn’t played for France since 2015, after alleged blackmail plot against Mathieu Valbuena
Didier Deschamps has said it’s not ‘in the best interests of the French team’ to have him back
‘I’m very happy for Karim. It’s true that he’s overtaken a legend of this club like Alfredo di Stefano. He’s now like Cristiano Ronaldo in the history of this club.
‘He’s doing something amazing and we simply have to enjoy it and make the most of it.’
Following his omission four years ago, Benzema accused Deschamps in 2018 of bowing to the pressure of racist sections within French society that were opposed to his inclusion due to his Algerian heritage.
But the French manager has since quashed these accusations, claiming his decision is based solely on football.
Deschamps has gone on record as saying it’s not ‘in the best interests of the French team’ to have Benzema back in the fold.