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Matuidi: Benzema deserves starting spot

14 June 2014 06:06

France midfielder Blaise Matuidi has endorsed Karim Benzema to lead their line at the FIFA World Cup.

The Real Madrid man scored twice against Jamaica in their 8-0 friendly rout on Sunday, his first goals for either club or country since April.

Benzema, 26, is one of just three players in France's squad with over 50 international caps - Patrice Evra and Hugo Lloris the others - after Franck Ribery's withdrawal due to a back injury.

Matuidi said Benzema can handle the expectation, and will score the goals France need to progress out of a Group E consisting of Ecuador, Honduras and Switzerland.

"Everybody can see that he (Benzema) deserves it," Matuidi said of their starting striker position.

"Karim is a world-class scorer. He's a player for Real Madrid, a team which won the Champions League. There is nothing more to say.

"I just hope that he is going to be in that form during the World Cup.

"Right now, he is fit and in great form, so he should be able to help us have a great World Cup."

Despite France bringing a relatively inexperienced squad to Brazil, Matuidi said the squad feels ready to accept the responsibility of improving the country's fortunes after their disastrous 2010 campaign in South Africa.

"The past is the past, we are now looking at what is in front of us," the PSG man said.

"We can speak about a new generation overall.

"We are all going to discover what it takes to play a World Cup. We feel we are ready to enter the battle. We've really worked well.

"We could see that during training and the friendly games we've played.

"We are fully aware of how tough the opposition is going to be. However we are ready to give our very best in order to get the results we are all waiting for."

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