Former France international Robert Pires feels Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is being treated unfairly by national team coach Didier Deschamps.
Benzema was barred from France’s squad for Euro 2016 after being charged over his involvement in an alleged plot to blackmail international team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.
French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet has since stressed that the attacker is available for selection again, but Deschamps has yet to recall the Madrid ace.
Pires, however, believes there is no reason for the coach to continue ignoring Benzema, who he is sure still has plenty to offer.
“I think Benzema is being treated unfairly, but Deschamps is the boss and we must respect him,” Pires told Marca.
“If I were the coach I would call him up, because he is class.
“I think Deschamps wants to teach Benzema a lesson while still qualifying for the World Cup.
“But I think Benzema can help us a lot in the next World Cup.”
Benzema is currently recovering from a hip injury that saw him miss Madrid’s 3-0 win over Leganes at the weekend.