France striker Karim Benzema said on Friday that he has no regrets risking his 2014 FIFA World Cup™ place by playing for Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League final triumph.

Benzema, who only attended his first full team training with France on Wednesday, told Madrid newspaper Marca: "It was not a mistake to play and I would do it again."

He insisted that he is ready for the challenge in Brazil where France start in Group E against Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras.

The 26-year-old striker aggravated a groin strain playing in Real's 4-1 victory over city rivals Atletico Madrid on 24 May. He told Marca: "I was injured but the main thing is that I took part and helped the team." 

I feel good physically and mentally.

Karim Benzema, France

Benzema said he feels the 'pressure' of being France's lead striker, and explained: "I am going to work to be the best. I feel good physically and mentally."

Benzema named Spain, FIFA World Cup hosts Brazil and Germany among the favourites to win the final on 13 July. He said France, rebuilding from a disastrous 2010 World Cup for which he wasn't selected, could still make an impact.

"It is not a favourite and that is normal. But we have a group of young players who have a big future."

He said France have been playing better since their narrow 3-2 aggregate play-off victory over Ukraine to reach the finals: "We are going to think about qualifying from our group and after that advance match-by-match."

France's first match is on 15 June against Honduras.