Benzema laments slow start
Karim Benzema believes France took too long to get going in their 1-0 World Cup quarter-final defeat to Germany.
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Mats Hummels' 12th-minute header was enough for the Germans to book a semi-final clash with the hosts, but Benzema feels that the French could have been the ones facing Brazil if they had created more chances early on.
"We are disappointed that the adventure stops there. We gave everything, but we couldn't score," he told www.lequipe.fr. "The first period was quite difficult, we didn't have enough attempts for my taste.
"We had more in the second half, they were endangered, but they have a very good goalkeeper."
Prior to that defeat, France had won over many neutrals by playing attractive football as they breezed through Group E and also dispatched Nigeria comfortably 2-0 in the round of 16.
Real Madrid striker Benzema also proved himself on the biggest stage of all, contributing three goals and two assists as he and Paul Pogba laid the foundations for Didier Deschamps' side to surprise the naysayers.
"I'm happy even though I would have liked to help the team go further. Nevertheless, we can be proud of us," he added.
"Do not forget that this is one of the best teams in the world and not one of us had played in the quarter-finals of World Cup."
Deschamps echoed Benzema's sentiments and expressed his desire for his current squad to stay together and emerge stronger for this experience.
"I'm very proud of what my players have achieved in this tournament," Deschamps told FIFA.com.
"They weren't that far short and we were up against a side that is used to playing these big games and has the experience to go with it. We just lacked that little bit you need to get the job done.
"This team is young and has a lot of quality in both footballing and mental terms. We need to build on those attributed ahead of our next big tournament - Euro 2016."