France striker Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ after picking up a thigh injury in training.
The news is a huge blow to the holders, who had been hoping the Real Madrid striker would be able to cap a dazzling year in which he fired Real Madrid to glory in the UEFA Champions League and La Liga.
Benzema wrote on Instagram: “In my life I have never given up but tonight I have to think about the team, as I have always done, so reason tells me to leave my place to someone who can help our group make a good World Cup. Thank you for all your messages of support.”
The 34-year-old has been struggling with injuries this season and yesterday’s training was the first full session in which he had taken part since joining up with Les Bleus’ squad.
Coach Didier Deschamps expressed his disappointment at this latest injury blow, having already lost key men such as Paul Pogba and Ngolo Kante.
“I am extremely sad for Karim who made this World Cup a major goal,” Deschamps said. “Despite this new setback, I have full confidence in my group. We will do everything to meet the immense challenge that awaits us.”
France’s Group D fixtures
22 November – France-Australia, 22:00 local time, Al Janoub Stadiumb d’Al Wakrah
26 November – France-Denmark, 19:00 local time, Stadium 974 Doha
30 November – Tunisia-France, 18:00 local time, Education City Stadium, Doha
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