Benzema berated by French football chief

The Real Madrid striker’s international goalless drought continued on Friday, as France staggered to a scoreless draw on Friday in Georgia
Karim Benzema has been slammed by France's football association (FFF) president Noel Le Graet after surpassing 20 hours without a goal for his country following their 0-0 draw with Georgia on Friday.

The last time the Real Madrid striker scored for his country was June 5, 2012 against Estonia, when he netted a brace in a friendly leading up to that summer's European Championship.

It has since been 15 games without a goal for Benzema, and just three in the last 27 for les Bleus, prompting the French sporting chief to speak out against the forward.

"There is a problem," he told reporters. "He is very disappointing. A starter at Real Madrid can’t be as bad as people say. We expect more."

Benzema, who was subbed off in the 62nd minute against Georgia in favour for Andre-Pierre Gignac, jumped to his own defence after the match, suggesting he isn’t the only player failing to find the back of the net amidst France’s five-game goalless drought.

"I know when I am good or not," he told reporters. "Tonight I was not terrible. For me to do better in the next game, I will not dwell on my substitution.

"It’s complicated - we don’t win, we don’t score goals and we don’t do good things. It’s a difficult period. I wouldn’t say we doubt ourselves, but it’s becoming a long time since we scored a goal."

The scoreless draw essentially locks France into second place in their World Cup qualification group behind Spain, meaning they must advance through the play-offs, a fact Frank Ribery seems content with.

"It’s a shame. The opportunities are there," the Bayern Munich winger told reporters.

"We had a lot of chances in the second half. We just didn’t score. We are disappointed tonight. We will get back to work and we will recover well because play again on Tuesday.

"We should not think we are already eliminated. If it is necessary to go through the play-offs, then we will. We will win and we will qualify for Brazil."

France will travel to Belarus on Tuesday, where a draw would secure at least a second place finish in the group.