KARIM BENZEMA has defended calling himself a Formula One car and Olivier Giroud a "kart" because "it's the truth".
The two strikers are feuding after Real Madrid striker Benzema referred to Giroud - who led the line for France's World Cup winning team in 2018 - as a go kart and himself as a Formula 1 car when asked to compare each other.
He said: "They only focused on that, on what I said about Formula 1 and karting, but it's what I think and it's the truth.
"Look, if I was asked about Ronaldo Nazario, then he would be the Formula 1 and I would be the kart. Short and simple."
Despite losing his place as a regular starter for Arsenal and Chelsea in the past, Giroud is trusted as France's main man up front, with 97 appearances and 39 goals.
But Benzema has not played for his national team in nearly five years after becoming involved in an alleged blackmail sextape plot involving teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
The Real Madrid striker was arrested as part of the investigation into the scandal which ultimately cost him his place in the French squad.
Benzema was a popular player among France fans and after Giroud took over his role as No1 forward, he was targeted by abuse from supporters.
Giroud told Le Parisien in 2016: "I immediately realised that the people who booed me were not anti-Giroud, but pro-Benzema.
"It could not be otherwise. I came from a great season with Arsenal. It was just disappointing.
"Yes, it annoyed me. I was not even remotely responsible for this story and I did not understand the kind of hatred that developed against me."
In November 2019, France Football Federation president Noel le Graet ended any hopes of a recall for Benzema, who is Real Madrid’s sixth all-time leading scorer with 241 goals.
He said: "For me, Benzema is a very good player. I have never criticised his qualities.
"On the contrary, he is proving again this year at Madrid that he is one of the best players in his position.
"But the adventure with France is over."