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Jun 10, 2013

Benzema: Goal drought not my fault

Karim Benzema has suggested his France team-mates are to blame for his international goal drought having been extended to more than a year following Sunday's 3-0 defeat in Brazil.

Didier Deschamps' men slipped to a second successive defeat on their end-of-season tour of South America, and drew a blank once again having lost 1-0 in Uruguay last Wednesday.

The team's worrying inability to find the back of the net is epitomised by Benzema who, held in check by the Selecao back four, has not struck for his country since June 5, 2012, when he scored a brace in a 4-0 win over Estonia in Les Bleus' final Euro 2012 warm-up match. That means that the 25-year-old's barren international run now stretches to 1082 minutes.

"It's tough," the Real Madrid striker, who has 15 goals from 57 caps for France, is reported as saying by Le Parisien.

"It's also tough for [fellow strikers Olivier] Giroud and [Bafetimbi] Gomis. The most difficult thing is that we don't get ten chances a game. Sometimes we don't even have a single one.

"If you look at the match against Brazil, there wasn't a single cross. In those conditions, it becomes difficult for any striker."

He added in L'Equipe: "If I don't get good passes, then I can't score."

Employed by Deschamps as the lone central striker in a 4-3-3/4-5-1 formation against Brazil, Benzema struggled to have any impact on the game.

A knee tendon cyst, which will be removed during an operation in Lyon on Tuesday, hampered him, however, Marseille coach Elie Baup told L'Equipe that the former Lyon man was hardly helped by the France boss' preferred tactical organisation.

"In that set-up, he's really isolated. When he gets the ball, he finds himself alone in the middle of defenders," he said. "He has to dribble to keep possession, which isn't easy. I get the impression he's better when there's someone close to him."

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