Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the World Cup after ripping his left quad on Saturday during training ahead of World Cup opener.
The 34-year-old Ballon d’Or-winning French striker was scheduled to face Australia in his World Cup opener on Tuesday.
The devastating news that he would not be able to participate in this year’s event, however, has finally been delivered to him.
A statement from France’s Team said: “Struck in the quadriceps of his left thigh, the Real Madrid striker is forced to give up participating in the World Cup.”
“Karim Benzema was forced to interrupt group training after feeling some discomfort in the quadriceps of his left thigh.”
“An MRI was performed at a Doha hospital, which unfortunately confirmed a rectus femoris injury, which will require a three-week recovery period.”
“After having exchanged with Dr. Franck Le Gall about the Real Madrid striker, Didier Deschamps confirmed the loss of Karim Benzema for the World Cup.”
Didier Deschamps, France head coach, further added: “I am extremely sad for Karim, who made this World Cup an important goal.”
“Despite this new blow to the French team, I have full confidence in my group. We will do our best to meet the immense challenge that awaits us.”
Also, Benzema tweeted that he had indeed withdrawn, he said: “In my life I have never given up, but tonight I have to think about the team as I have always done.”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 squad have a good World Cup.”
“Thank you for all your messages of support.”
Deschamps has had a string of injured players miss the Qatar World Cup, including Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe, and Mike Maignan. Now, Karim Benzema has been added to the list.
Although they have been named to the team, Raphael Varane and Jules Kounde are still questionable as they recuperate from their individual ailments.
In November, Benzema only saw 26 minutes of action for Real Madrid, raising questions over his availability for both his club and his national team.
Deschamps will very definitely now resort to Olivier Giroud of AC Milan due to Benzema’s unavailability.
Giroud, 36, is only two goals shy of Thierry Henry’s record for the French national team, which stands at 51; the ex-Arsenal and Chelsea player will be aiming for that total in Qatar.
After spending six years away from the France team, Benzema made his way back to the national team for the Euros in 2021.
Following a sex tape and a blackmail case involving a former teammate, Mathieu Valbuena, he took a break from playing international football.
He took Giroud’s spot for the Euros, but France was defeated by Switzerland in the round of 16.
Last season, Benzema led Carlo Ancelotti’s Real Madrid team to a LaLiga-Champions League double with 44 goals in 46 games.
He won the Ballon d’Or in October, beating out Kevin de Bruyne and Sadio Mane, capping off a remarkable season.
France’s Group D opponents after their first match against Australia are Tunisia and Denmark.
Three World Cup champions in a row have lost in the group stage of the subsequent competition: Italy (2010), Spain (2014), and Germany (2018). Didier Deschamps’ team hopes to break this trend.