France and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Earlier on Saturday, it was reported that Benzema had picked up a knock in training ahead of France’s opening game against Australia on Tuesday, 22 November. Reports claimed that the French medical team were set to examine the extent of Benzema’s injury.
According to the Mirror, however, the Real Madrid star has sustained a thigh injury which will now keep him away from competing at the FIFA World Cup.
The distraught striker posted the following message on his Instagram profile following the injury which ruled him out of the showpiece event:
“In my life I never give up but tonight I have to think about the team like I always do so the reason tells me to leave my place to someone who can help our team to make a great World Cup. Thank you for all your messages of support.”
Benzema’s injury comes as a major blow for France in their quest to defend the World Cup in Qatar. The 34-year-old forward has been in excellent form for his club and country over the past few years. His recent good form for Real Madrid saw him win the 2022 Ballon d’Or last month.
The injury is not only a huge blow for France but for the player himself. The former Olympique Lyonnais player has previously featured in only one FIFA World Cup in his illustrious career, back in 2014. He was not part of Les Bleus’ title-winning squad in 2018.
The 2022-23 season, however, has been ridden with injuries for the France international. He had picked up a muscular injury while playing for Real Madrid prior to the halt of club football for the World Cup. The forward did score six goals from 12 appearances for Los Blancos across all competitions so far this season.
France have enough quality to replace Karim Benzema at the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Karim Benzema will leave a huge void in France’s attack for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Didier Deschamps’ side, however, have some great attacking options who can negate the absence of Benzema.
Kylian Mbappe still remains France’s best attacker in the squad. The Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forward has been in excellent form for his club, netting 19 goals and providing five assists from 20 games across all competitions.
France also possesses the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, and Ousmane Dembele in their ranks. Giroud has scored 49 goals for France and is only two goals behind the nation’s record goalscorer Thierry Henry.
Griezmann, on the other hand, has a proven track record at the FIFA World Cup. The Atletico Madrid star scored four times at the 2018 World Cup, including a goal in the final against Croatia.
France have been drawn alongside Denmark, Australia, and Tunisia in Group D of the tournament. Despite missing the Ballo d’Or winner, they are expected to qualify for the knockout stages.