France striker Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the World Cup after suffering an injury to his left thigh during training on Saturday in Doha.
After undergoing an MRI, it was confirmed that Benzema had suffered a muscle tear that would need three weeks of recovery time.
The 2022 World Cup, which begins on Sunday and runs through the final on Dec. 18, will now be the first since 1978 not to feature the reigning Ballon d’Or winner.
French coach Didier Deschamps said he is extremely sad for Karim, who had made this World Cup a major objective. Despite this new blow for the French team, he has full confidence in his group. They will do everything to meet the huge challenge that awaits them.
Benzema also addressed his withdrawal in an Instagram post.
“I’ve never given up in my life but tonight I have to think of the team, as I have always done,” he said. “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.”
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