One of the best footballers in the world will have to pull out of the sport’s biggest tournament. According to ESPN FC’s Julien Laurens, France striker Karim Benzema will not be able to participate in the World Cup after suffering a quadriceps injury during training on Saturday.
Karim Benzema is out of the whole World Cup!!!! @ESPNFC
— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) November 19, 2022
The official Twitter account of France’s national team confirmed the news.
Touché au quadriceps de la cuisse gauche, Karim @Benzema est contraint de renoncer à participer au Mondial.
— Equipe de France (@equipedefrance) November 19, 2022
The news of Benzema’s injury costing him the entire World Cup, a tournament which France won in 2018, is new. But earlier in the day, it was announced that he would miss at least Les Bleus’ opener against Australia, while the rest of his tournament was in doubt pending further examination.
Benzema, the talismanic forward from Real Madrid, has struggled with injuries for the start of this club campaign, but was expected to be able to go in Qatar. The reigning Ballon d’Or winner, given annually to the best player in the world, Benzema accrued 44 goals in 46 games across all competitions last season for Madrid, which won La Liga and the Champions League.
It’s a brutal twist for Benzema, who was slated to return to the tournament after not being selected to suit up for France in Russia in 2018. France’s group consists of Australia, Denmark, and Tunisia, with the matchup against Australia taking place on Tuesday.