Karim Benzema, France’s star striker, out of World Cup 2022

Benzema was France’s top scorer at the 2014 World Cup.

DOHA, Qatar — A month after lifting the Ballon d’Or in victory to mark his huge rise, Karim Benzema’s dream of winning the World Cup went up in smoke before he could even play a game. in Qatar.

The defending French champions’ World Cup hopes have been dealt a heavy blow with the news that the team’s star striker Benzema has had to miss the game after tearing a muscle in his left thigh during training on Thursday. Seven.

“Karim Benzema has been eliminated from the World Cup,” the French football federation (FFF) said. “After suffering a pain in the left quadriceps muscle, the Real Madrid striker was forced to give up participating in the World Cup.”

The FFF said Benzema was attending his first full training session with Les Bleus when he had to leave the field after feeling pain in his left thigh.

“He went for an MRI at a hospital (clinic) in Doha, which unfortunately confirmed he had a tear,” the FFF said, adding that he will need three weeks to recover.

Benzema spoke to his fans after the news surfaced.

“I have never given up on my life but tonight I have to think about the team, as I always do,” Benzema posted on his Instagram account. “So my mind told me to give up my place to someone who can help our team have a great World Cup. Thanks for all your support messages.

France coach Didier Deschamps said: “I am very sad for Karim, who has set big goals for this World Cup.”

Benzema has barely played in recent weeks — since winning the Ballon d’Or, he’s played less than 30 minutes for Madrid — and this is his first full training session with France.

France faces Australia on Tuesday in Group D, then Denmark four days later and Tunisia on November 30.

It was a heavy blow for Benzema, the fifth Frenchman to win the Ballon d’Or and the first since Zinedine Zidane, his idol, in 1998.

The extremely talented Benzema, originally from Algeria, came from Lyon’s famous youth academy and scored his first Champions League goal at the talented age of 17. He is currently fourth of all time with 86 goals.

Benzema was France’s top scorer at the 2014 World Cup but did not feature in France’s winning campaign at the 2018 World Cup as he was still expelled from the squad for his alleged role in the scandal. a sex tape with his French teammate at that time, Mathieu Valbuena.

Consequences from that scandal caused Benzema to decline miserably. He faced countless stinging and harsh criticisms across the country, including at the political level. It resulted in him being dropped from the national team for a long time from October 2015 until he was recalled by Deschamps last May.

As his relationship with Deschamps mended, Benzema has scored free for France with 10 goals in 16 games since returning to hit 37 goals overall, and he has formed a partnership. great with Kylian Mbappe.

He won the hearts of the French fans and cemented his place in the hearts of Madrid’s equally hardcore supporters. Benzema has won five Champions League titles and rose to second on Madrid’s all-time scoring list with 329 goals.

At last year’s European Championship, Benzema looked sharp and was France’s top scorer with four goals.

Earlier this week, Benzema delivered reassuring news in an excerpt of an interview with TV channel L’Equipe, which aired on Sunday.

“I’m fine. I have a little pain but no tear and no serious injury. I could have played (for Madrid) but I’m not 100 per cent,” he told L’Equipe TV channel this week. .

Now, Benzema joins a list of big names injured on the eve of the World Cup – such as Senegal’s Sadio Mane and Germany’s Timo Werner. Not to mention Benzema’s teammates Paul Pogba, N’Gole Kante and Christopher Nkunku.

Deschamps has seen his squad rife with injuries.

Nkunku was injured just minutes before the end of team practice on Tuesday night and was replaced on the team by Randal Kolo Muani on Wednesday.

Deschamps is missing midfielders Pogba and Kante, who helped France win the World Cup four years ago.

Deschamps anxiously waits to see if his best centre-back, Raphael Varane, is fit to face Australia – exactly a month since he limped off for Manchester United with a hamstring injury.

World Cup winner and centre-back Presnel Kimpembe withdrew on Monday after failing to fully recover from a six-week break following a hamstring injury.

Even without Benzema, France still has a strong attack to confront Australia. France will likely start with Olivier Giroud at center forward, alongside 2018 World Cup star Mbappe and Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele or veteran Antoine Griezmann.

Giroud has scored 49 goals for France, Griezmann has 42 and Mbappe, 23, has 28. Dembele is in good form in Spain’s top team Barcelona this season.

Deschamps has until Monday – before the match against Australia – to call up Benzema’s replacement for his 26-man squad. Monaco forward Wissam Ben Yedder, who has three goals for the national team, could be an option.

But Deschamps already has an abundant back-up forward line with Bayern Munich winger Kingsley Coman, Marcus Thuram and Kolo Muani.

Benzema will turn 35 a day after the World Cup final. If France achieves it, he won’t be there to play in Qatar, like four years ago in Russia.

https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/karim-benzema-out-of-world-cup-with-thigh-tear/507-d52fa6a9-6ac6-427a-96f5-dc02d4b112c6 Karim Benzema, France’s star striker, out of World Cup 2022

Edmund DeMarche

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