Gary Lineker had some harsh words for the Real Madrid striker, who still holds out hope for a place on France's World Cup team.

By 90Min
November 01, 2017

After a tricky start to the season, Karim Benzema has hit back at criticism from the Match of the Day presenter and former Barcelona striker Gary Lineker, who called the Real Madrid forward 'overrated'.

In an interview with Les Inrockuptibles (via Marca) Benzema hit back at criticism from a fellow striker, saying he 'felt sorry' for Lineker.

"The criticism from ex-footballers who become journalists, some of who only share their hate, I feel sorry for them, frankly," he said. "They have experienced the same situations but don't have solidarity." 

Benzema has scored only one goal in La Liga this season with Real's stuttering start to the league campaign leaving them eight points behind leaders Barcelona, after just 10 games. 

Despite the criticisms he has received, Benzema remains focused on improving his performances and admits he has not given hope of playing for France in Russia at the World Cup this summer, despite being exiled from the squad. 

He said: "Of course I want to return for France! Which footballer doesn't dream of playing in a World Cup?" 

"I try to do my best for my club and we will see at the end. Talking isn't helpful and it can lead to misunderstandings. I don't talk anymore. I try to be successful and win titles." 

The 29-year old has not played for France since 2015 following a disagreement with manager Didier Deschamps, and accusations over his links to a sex tape scandal involving teammate Mathieu Valbuena. 

Benzema will get the opportunity to respond to Lineker's criticism tonight when he lines up against Tottenham for Real Madrid in the Champions League at Wembley. The former England striker will be fronting BT Sport's coverage of what is a big game for the Champions League holders as they try and secure top spot in Group H.

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