Euro 2016: 5 players teams might regret not taking to France
These players could have made a real difference at the Euros and their countries might just regret not taking them to France.
The European Championships feature a collection of world class talents from various teams across the continent. The tournament gives the continent’s best players the chance to showcase their talents in one of international football’s most prestigious tournaments.
Participant teams wrap their star players in cotton wool to ensure optimum fitness and peak performance levels during the course of the tournament in order to have the best possible chance for European glory.
While most countries will be taking all of their stars to the Euros, a few nations have left some of their players behind. As the teams prepare for the championships at their respective training bases, a few players who could have made huge difference to their countries hopes will be watching from home instead.
We list five players who countries might regret not picking for their Euro 2016 squads.
1) Karim Benzema (France)
The French striker of Algerian descent has been left out of France’s final 23 man squad for the Euros after allegedly being involved in a conspiracy to blackmail fellow French international Mathieu Valbuena over a sex-tape.
The Frenchman had one of the best seasons of his career with Real Madrid, scoring 28 goals and would have been France’s chief goal threat had he been selected. Benzema’s involvement in the scandal was murky and he had been cleared to be selected for France.
Despite his prolific season and the authorities giving the green light for his selection, Benzema was not picked for the tournament after the French Prime Minister felt that his selection would be detrimental to the harmony in the squad.
France’s Euro hopes now lie in the hands of Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, who scored 24 goals last season. While this should not deter the nation’s hopes, Giroud is nowhere as mobile as Benzema and is not the same menace to defences. France will hope that the wildly inconsistent Giroud produces one of his purple patches of form. If not, they will regret not picking Benzema for the tournament.