Karim Benzema at the World Cup: France without Ballon d’Or winner, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante through injury in Qatar

    Karim Benzema was named in the France squad for the World Cup but he won’t be available to help his country defend their crown.

    The Real Madrid striker withdrew from Les Blues squad after suffering a thigh problem in training on the eve of the tournament.

    Benzema had only just returned to full training

    AFP

    Benzema had only just returned to full training

    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.

    “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.

    Benzema won the Ballon d’Or in October, but will not play in the World Cup

    AFP

    Benzema won the Ballon d’Or in October, but will not play in the World Cup

    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 had time to call up a replacement for Benzema from their standby list but ultimately declined the opportunity.

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