Naturalized French on 10 last December, Walter Benitez can claim to play in the France team. A hypothesis that Didier Deschamps does not rule out, even if he remains evasive on the subject.
After five years spent in France, Walter Benitez (10 years old) obtained his naturalization on 10 last December with his wife. The couple, who have been fluent in French since arriving in Nice in 2016, passed an oral test and another in writing with flying colours. Sportingly, this choice also counts since the Argentinian by birth no longer occupies a place of extra-community in the ranks of the Nice workforce. He can also claim a place in the France team, he who has no selection with Argentina A, to his greatest regret.
But Benitez does not claim a place too strongly with the Blues. “There are good goalkeepers and good young goalkeepers, he confides in L’Equipe . I can only say that I am happy in Nice , that I give my maximum, and that I am focused on my club.”
“We look at him like the other selectable players”
Asked about the subject, Didier Deschamps does not close the door to the goalkeeper, in a pragmatism that characterizes him. “All French players are selectable, confides the coach in the sports daily. I don’t know why he made this choice, but it’s a choice that I respect. We look at him like the other selectable players.”
Behind the essential Hugo Lloris and Mike Maignan, solid number 2, a place may be up for grabs as third goalkeeper. Steve Mandanda, substitute in Marseille, has not been called up during the last two rallies. Alphonse Areola plays little at West Ham and Benoît Costil, called up in October and November, is in sporting difficulty with Bordeaux. But the common experience counts a lot in the mind of the coach for this very specific role. And Benitez does not, for the moment.