Karim Benzema


The public digs needled me to rebel. They forced me to work harder.

It's true that in my family, everyone loves football. So it's great to have a family that's united behind you and doesn't leave you.

As long as Didier Deschamps is coach, I have no chance of getting back into the France team.

We footballers don't address one another as 'My dear.'

Some people say I don't love the French national team. If that were the case, I would have said so directly to the coach, because I'm a big boy.

When you play in a great club like Real Madrid, it's hard to stay here.

I have faith in the players, who have paid me back on the pitch. I have brought in young players because they have a lot of potential. I'm the only one who decides, and I take decisions based on sporting reasons.

What I would like is to at least have a discussion with the coach, that he tells me what he thinks. I have to know.

For the moment, I haven't ended my career. I'm young. There are still a lot of goals.

For me, I have always thought a squad comes before everything. I always make decisions for the good of the French national team.

I always talk with my technical staff before I announce a squad. I have always done that; I am changing nothing.

I'm not going to give up. If people think I'm going to give up the French national team, they're mistaken. I'm still here, and I'm still hungry for trophies.

Personally, what goes beyond sport, you have to put to one side. You need the best to win trophies.

Gerard Houllier is a great coach. He made me grow. He gave me chances in big games, which raised my confidence. It opened my eyes to what I could do. It was through him that I managed to trust myself.

I started with Paul Le Guen. He told me to double up in positions if he was missing a left back or a midfielder. From that moment, it was clear in my mind that I would be a professional footballer, and I began working even faster to get there.

I don't need money, and when I do a favor, I expect nothing back.

One must just keep having good seasons with many great matches, whether one is with the club or the French national side. For me, this must be a player's goal in his head, even if it's an individual trophy, and the first thought must be on the collective.

What I have more of a problem accepting is the criticism of former players turned journalists, who - some of them - spread their hatred.