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Football | France

Benzema happy Nasri is back



Manchester City playmaker Samir Nasri will be important to France in the future and should be recalled by manager Didier Deschamps, striker Karim Benzema said on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Nasri, who has served a three-game ban after he insulted a journalist at Euro 2012, did not make the 23-man squad for next Wednesday's friendly in Italy.

Deschamps, who overlooked him for the 2014 World Cup qualifier in Spain last month, said the playmaker was part of a list of players likely to be called up one day.

On Sunday, Benzema, who has long been at odds with Nasri according to media reports, backed a return for his international teammate saying France have needed his experience.

"We have to leave him alone, to give him our trust and I think he will be very helpful to France because he has played at the highest level," Benzema told French channel TF1.

"He also has a lot of caps. We have to have faith in him," added the Real Madrid striker, who will miss the trip to Parma due to injury.

"This is my opinion. We will see what the coach does."

Nasri, who did not feature in France's disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign where the squad refused to train to show support for excluded teammate Nicolas Anelka, has scored four goals in 35 caps for France since he first played with Les Bleus in 2007.

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