Karim Benzema was ruled out of the 2022 World Cup after tearing a left thigh muscle. The 34-year-old Ballon d’Or winner had been practicing separately from the French team and had hamstring and knee issues going into the competition. Benzema experienced some soreness in his left thigh after his first complete training session on Saturday. The French Football Federation later announced that the attacker suffered “a tear,” which would keep him out of the competition.
“Although I’ve never given up before, tonight I have to consider the team as I always do, therefore logic tells me to give up my position to someone who can assist our team has a successful World Cup,” Karim Benzema said after being ruled out of the World Cup. “I appreciate all of your encouraging letters.”
Since winning the Ballon d’Or last month, Benzema has played for Madrid for fewer than 30 minutes, coming off the bench in a Champions League game against Celtic. Benzema, though, sat out of France’s productive World Cup run in 2018. At the 2014 World Cup, he scored the most goals for France. He was chosen by Deschamps to represent France in the 2018 European Championship, where he led the team in scoring with four goals. Chelsea’s Kante, a midfielder who has played in just two league games this season due to a hamstring injury, hit a roadblock in his comeback. He will recover after surgery for four months.
Forward Christopher Nkunku suffered an injury just before the team’s previous practise on Tuesday night. Since then, Randal Kolo Muani has replaced Nkunku on the roster. Deschamps is already without two midfielders who helped France win the World Cup four years ago: Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante. In September, Pogba underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus after suffering a preseason knee injury. The 29-year-old midfielder started training before his agent announced that he will not play for Juventus or France again until the World Cup.
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