France striker Karim Benzema 'distraught' at Euro 2016 omission - Zinedine Zidane

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema 'distraught' - Zinedine Zidane
Benzema has scored 26 goals for Real Madrid in all competitions this season

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is "distraught" at not being allowed to play for France at Euro 2016, says his club manager Zinedine Zidane.

The French Football Federation said it will not select Benzema, who has not played for Les Bleus since November.

He is being investigated for his part in an alleged plot to blackmail France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena.

"All I can say is the player is upset and distraught. He wanted to be there," said former France midfielder Zidane.

The FFF said its decision to not select Benzema took into account "the ability of players to work towards unity" and that "athletic performance" was important but not an "exclusive criterion".

"We all know what a player he is and what he can contribute," added 43-year-old Zidane, who was part of the France team that won the 1998 World Cup on home soil.

"You need all your strongest players to go as far in the competition as possible."

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