FIFA World Cup 2022: France’s Karim Benzema to miss the entire Qatar tournament through injury
Karim Benzema’s participation with France at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is over after the Real Madrid attacker suffered injury in his first full training session with the defending champions the team announced.
The 34-year-old Ballon d’Or titleholder had to withdraw from the Saturday’s practice early which immediately caused concern within Didier Deschamps’ coaching staff.
Tests at the ASPETAR facilities in Doha showed that Benzema has suffered a left thigh injury significant enough to rule him out of the French campaign this winter. CBS Sports understands that early indications suggest that he will be out for four to six weeks, with his club team, Real, expected to do scans of their own to confirm the severity of the injury.
Benzema has only played 27 minutes over the past month and has suffered knee and hamstring issues of late before this latest setback which was suffered without physical contact with anybody else.
Ahead of the French opener vs. Australia at Al Janoub Stadium on Tuesday, Deschamps has until Monday to call up a replacement — 24 hours before Les Bleus’ first game and the cut-off date.
Benzema and defender Raphael Varane had been training separately since France’s congregation at Clairefontaine and this was the pair’s first session with their teammates.
Christopher Nkunku was already ruled out dramatically through a training injury before leaving France and was replaced by Randal Kolo Muani while Marcus Thuram was also added to the traveling party after the initial announcement.
Presnel Kimpembe was also ruled out through injury and replaced by Axel Diasi while Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, and Mike Maignan were already ruled out of action before Deschamps picked his squad.
Benzema has five La Liga goals to his name so far this season for Real who he helped to win the UEFA Champions League last campaign.