Featured Matches
Previous
Tottenham Hotspur
AEL
3
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 5 - 1
Game Details
Internazionale
Stjarnan
6
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 9 - 0
Game Details
Hull City
KSC Lokeren
2
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
FK Astra Giurgiu
Lyon
0
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Krasnodar
Real Sociedad
3
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 1
Game Details
Lokomotiv Moscow
Apollon Limassol
1
4
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 5
Game Details
Metalist Kharkiv
Ruch Chorzow
1
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Krasnodar
Real Sociedad
3
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 1
Game Details
Omonia Nicosia
Dinamo Moscow
1
2
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 4
Game Details
Neftchi Baku PFC
FK Partizan Belgrade
1
2
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 5
Game Details
PAOK Salonika
Zimbru Chisinau
4
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 1
Game Details
FK Astra Giurgiu
Lyon
0
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Rostov
Trabzonspor
0
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Shakhter Soligorsk
PSV Eindhoven
0
2
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Sheriff Tiraspol
Rijeka
0
3
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 4
Game Details
Hajduk Split
Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk
0
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Twente Enschede
FK Qarabag
1
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Asteras Tripolis
3
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 3
Game Details
FC Midtjylland
Panathinaikos
1
2
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 6
Game Details
Feyenoord Rotterdam
FC Zorya Luhansk
4
3
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 5 - 4
Game Details
FC Zürich
FC Spartak Trnava
1
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 2
Game Details
Torino
RNK Split
1
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Sparta Prague
PEC Zwolle
3
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 2
Game Details
St Etienne
Karabükspor
(4) 1
(3) 0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
Rapid Vienna
HJK Helsinki
3
3
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 5
Game Details
Debrecen
BSC Young Boys
0
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 3
Game Details
Internazionale
Stjarnan
6
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 9 - 0
Game Details
Hull City
KSC Lokeren
2
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Borussia Monchengladbach
FK Sarajevo
7
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 10 - 2
Game Details
Villarreal
Astana 1964
4
0
ESPNDeportes FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 7 - 0
Game Details
CD Nacional de Madeira
Dinamo Minsk
2
3
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 5
Game Details
Tottenham Hotspur
AEL
3
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 5 - 1
Game Details
Dinamo Zagreb
Petrolul Ploiesti
2
1
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 5 - 2
Game Details
Club Brugge
Grasshoppers Zürich
1
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 1
Game Details
Legia Warsaw
Aktobe Lento
2
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Rio Ave
Elfsborg
1
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Waterhouse
Tauro FC
4
1
FT
Game Details
Olimpia
Alpha United
3
0
LIVE 37'
Game Details
Alajuelense
Chorrillo FC
1
0
LIVE 36'
Game Details
Danubio F.C.
Deportivo Capiatá
2
2
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 5
Game Details
Fluminense FC
Goiás EC
2
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Caracas F.C.
Inti Gas Deportes
1
0
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
César Vallejo
Millonarios
2
2
FT
Leg 2Aggregate: 4 - 3
Game Details
Criciúma
São Paulo
2
1
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Sport
EC Vitória
0
1
LIVE 84'
Leg 1
Game Details
Deportivo Cali
UTC
3
0
LIVE 89'
Leg 2Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Wilstermann
Peñarol
0
4
LIVE 90'
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 6
Game Details
Banfield
Tigre
1
0
FT
Game Details
Vélez Sarsfield
Lanús
1
0
FT
Game Details
Quilmes
San Lorenzo
0
3
FT
Game Details
Gremio
Santos FC
0
2
FT
Leg 1
Game Details
Unión Española
Universidad de Chile
0
1
FT
Game Details
Pumas Generalena
Limon
0
0
FT
Game Details
Next

Ronaldo focused on qualification, not prizes

World Cup reaction Nov 20, 2013
Read

Platini: Not end of world if France fail Video

France news Nov 17, 2013
Read

Del Bosque signs Spain extension

World Cup news Nov 15, 2013
Read

Spain fringe players eye friendly chance

World Cup news Nov 15, 2013
Read

Giroud happy with evolution of France role

World Cup news Nov 15, 2013
Read

Deschamps: France are not afraid

France news Nov 14, 2013
Read
Nov 14, 2013

Criticism was 'too much', says Benzema

Karim Benzema has accused the media of going over the top in their criticism of him while he struggled to score for France.

Benzema, 26, ended a 1222-minute goal drought for his country in last month's 6-0 defeat of Australia, and followed that up with another strike in his nation's closing 2014 World Cup qualifier with Finland.

Ryder: Newcastle feeling Les Bleus

Those goals have given the Real Madrid striker some respite from the almost relentless barracking he took from the French press during the 16-month period in which he could not find the back of the net for Les Bleus.

Benzema explained to Le Parisien: "It was the hardest time of my career. When you play at the highest level, you mustn't crack, never doubt, and always believe in yourself. Every day, people spoke about me. 'He doesn't score, he doesn't score, he doesn't score...'

"And when someone else scored, people took advantage of that to point out the fact I wasn't scoring. After a while, come on, it becomes too much. I got the impression that even if I was good on the pitch, it didn't do any good.

"I understand the expectation, but sometimes it goes over the top. Is it necessary to hammer a player like that? Once people have said I'm rubbish, they could then move on. But even so, for the next game, it was back to me."

He added: "I live with it. I only ask for objectivity. If I'm not good, for my club or with the national team, I'm the first to admit it. After the goalless draw in Georgia, I didn't look for excuses. There was no understanding up front, little movement. In such a case, I'm happy to take all the criticism levelled at the team upon myself. On the other hand, if people think I've been mediocre in a game in which I played well but I didn't score, I don't agree."

Though the former Lyon forward has finally ended his barren spell at international level, it does not necessarily mean he will find himself on the pitch at kickoff come Friday's playoff first leg in Ukraine.

Olivier Giroud is favourite to start in a 4-2-3-1 formation with his impressive displays for Arsenal and France having eased him in front of Benzema in Didier Deschamps' thinking.

"I'm not his back-up, nor that of any other forward. I'm not the back-up of anyone. I'm a player with the French national team. Each of us has our own style. We're a group. It's about winning all together," Benzema insisted.

"We're going to give everything in these two games. We're going to qualify. I'm convinced of that. We don't have a choice. At the end, there's a ticket for Brazil. The most beautiful thing. A World Cup in the country of football, of Ronaldo, Pele, Ronaldinho, I can name them all."

For many French football fans, Brazil also evokes the 1998 World Cup final, their nation's finest moment on the pitch and the game which catapulted Zinedine Zidane to global stardom.

Now assistant coach to Carlo Ancelotti at Madrid, the former France international is a confidante of Benzema, and played a central role in keeping his young compatriot's outlook sunny even during the most overcast of periods.

Benzema said: "He's always been close to me. We talk a lot, he gives me good advice. We talk a huge amount, and not just about football. We also have a laugh. Zizou has always been and is still behind me. I consider him a big brother. He protects me in Madrid. I like him a lot."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.