He also said in 2016 that Deschamps had “bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France” when leaving the forward out of the Euro squad that year.
The 33-year-old Benzema, who has 27 goals in 81 games for France, features in the 26-man squad alongside fellow forwards Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Kingsley Coman, Olivier Giroud, Ousmane Dembele, Wissam Ben Yedder and Marcus Thuram.
Manchester United’s Anthony Martial was not in the squad, Deschamps said, because he was not physically ready. The forward suffered a knee problem in a World Cup qualifier with Kazakhstan in March and has only just returned to training with his club.
While Deschamps had not picked Benzema since October 2015 and said he would “never forget” his comments, the France coach had never stated that he would not call him up again.
“I don’t have the ability, no one does, to go back and change anything. The most important thing is today and tomorrow. There have been important steps, one of them very important,” Deschamps said when asked about Benzema.
The striker was recently named best French player in a foreign league by the French professional footballers’ union.
“We have seen each other. We had a long discussion,” added Deschamps. “After that I had a long reflection to come to this decision. I’m not going to reveal a word of the discussion, it’s only our business. I needed it, he needed it.
“I have already been confronted with difficult situations, I have always put my personal case aside. The French team does not belong to me, even if I am well aware that the responsibility I have is important because of the choices I have to make.”
Benzema wrote on Twitter: “So proud of my return to the French team and of the trust placed in me. Thank you to my family, my friends, my club, to you… and to all those who have always supported me and given me strength every day.”