Karim Benzema is out of the World Cup in Qatar, the French Football Federation have confirmed.
The Real Madrid striker has withdrawn from the France squad after suffering a thigh problem in training on Saturday.
Benzema had a scan at a hospital in Doha after picking up the injury in his first full session in Qatar and it was determined he would not be able to play any part in the tournament, which kicks off on Sunday.
“I am extremely sad for Karim who had made this World Cup a major objective. Despite this new blow for the French team, I have full confidence in my group. We will do everything to meet the huge challenge that awaits us,” said coach Didier Deschamps in a statement.
The striker himself added: “In my life I have never given up… but tonight I have to think of the team as I have always done so reason tells me to leave my place to someone who can help our group to make a great world cup. Thank you for all your messages of support”.
It is another blow to rock the 2018 World Cup winners.
France are already without influential midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante because of injury.
They also lost in-form forward Christopher Nkunku to injury this week.
England’s possible route to Qatar 2022 World Cup final with dates and times confirmed
Qatar 0-2 Ecuador LIVE: ‘Sunday league’ hosts lose opener as Valencia fires double
Everything you need to know about World Cup from fixtures to stadiums and timings
‘Families screaming’ as riot police deployed to Doha fan park during World Cup opener
Qatar goalkeeper branded ‘Sunday League’ as ‘awful’ hosts make unwanted history
Martial ‘involved in training ground bust-up’ with Man United youngster
Les Blues open their 2022 World Cup campaign against Australia in Group D on Tuesday.
Ballon d’Or 2022 winner Benzema has been struggling with injury all season, making just 12 out of a possible 21 appearances for Champions League winners Real.
France have until Sunday to call up a replacement for Benzema from their standby list.
Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT
At talkSPORT we are powered by fans, so come and join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – at the talkSPORT Fan Zone.
In a huge indoor venue under the arches at Waterloo in London, we’ll bring you live screenings of every World Cup game.
There will be Q&As with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live broadcasts, and there will be plenty of food and drink on offer too.
Come and enjoy the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a pint on us – with tickets for England and Wales’ group stage games on sale now HERE!