France striker Karim Benzema will not partake in the 2022 World Cup after he picked up an injury just days before France’s opening game against Australia on Tuesday.
Benzema injured his left thigh during a training session on Saturday in Doha with the French national team. It was during a sprint near the end of the session that the Real Madrid striker started to feel pain in his thigh.
After the training session, the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner underwent an MRI that showed that he had torn a muscle. Upon further evaluation, it was determined that he would require at least three weeks of recovery time.
“I’ve never given up in my life but tonight I have to think of the team, as I have always done,” Benzema announced on social media following news of his injury. “So reason tells me to give my place to someone who can help our squad have a great World Cup. Thanks for all your messages of support.”
This injury setback sees Benzema join both RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku and Paris Saint-Germain centre back Presnel Kimpembe on the sidelines, with both of the latter also being ruled out of the World Cup through injuries of their own.
While Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani and Monaco’s Axel Disasi were named as replacements for Nkunku and Kimpembe, no replacement will be made for Benzema, with France coach Didier Deschamps expressing confidence in the squad that he currently has.