Karim Benzema’s World Cup in doubt after France star suffers fresh injury blow in training


    Karim Benzema
    Benzema joined his teammates in training for the first time on Saturday (Picture: Getty)

    Karim Benzema has suffered a fresh injury blow days before France’s opening game of the World Cup.

    The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner has struggled with injury this season, missing 11 games for Real Madrid but was named in Les Blues squad in Qatar despite concerns over his fitness.

    On Saturday, the 34-year-old joined his teammates for the first time in training since the squad linked up at their base in Doha.

    RMC Sport report however Benzema was forced to withdraw from the session, adding there is now major concern over his participation in Qatar with France seeking to defend their world title.

    Benzema has reportedly been battling two separate injuries – a hamstring problem and a knee strain.

    RTL report however that Benzema’s latest issue is a thigh injury and not a setback from previous problems. The striker is set to undergo scans in the coming hours.

    France begin their campaign against Australia on Tuesday evening before taking on Denmark on Saturday. They conclude their group campaign against Tunisia on 30 November.

    Karim Benzema
    Benzema was crowned the Ballon d’Or winner last month (Picture: Getty)

    The defending champions have already suffered a number of injury blows heading into the competition with Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante – key figures in their 2018 success in Russia – both ruled out.

    In a further blow, Didier Deschamps is also without RB Leipzig star Christophe Nkunku, who suffered an injury during a training session this week following a challenge from Eduardo Camavinga.

    Nkuku has since been replaced in the France squad with his club confirming the extent of his injury on Saturday morning.

    ‘Christo Nkunku tore the LCL in his left knee whilst training with the French national team on 15th November in Paris,’ Leipzig confirmed in a statement on Saturday.

    ‘It’s not yet clear how long he will be out for. We will provide Christo with the best support so that he can return as soon as possible.’

    Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has also been training on his own as part of his recovery from a hamstring injury suffered in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea in October.

    The 29-year-old is thought to have made good progress and could be in contention to start France’s opener next week.

    MORE : Arsenal star William Saliba WON’T start for France at World Cup despite Raphael Varane concerns, says William Gallas

    MORE : France World Cup guide: Can Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema avoid champions curse?

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