Karim Benzema, France’s top striker, has been ruled out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup due to a thigh injury.
Benzema tore a muscle in his left thigh during a training session ahead of the football showpiece slated to start on Sunday in Doha, Qatar.
The French Football Federation (FFF), in a statement on Saturday night, confirmed that the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner has been ruled out for three weeks.
“Karim Benzema is out of the World Cup,” the FFF statement reads.
“After hurting the quadriceps of the left thigh, the Real Madrid striker is forced to give up participating in the World Cup.
“Karim Benzema was forced to cut short the collective training session after feeling pain in the quadriceps of his left thigh.
“He went for an MRI at a hospital in Doha, which unfortunately confirmed a femoral rectus injury, which will require a three-week recovery period.
“After having exchanged with Dr Franck Le Gall then the Real Madrid striker, Didier Deschamps confirmed Karim Benzema’s departure from the World Cup.”
Benzema, in an emotional message posted on his Instagram page, said he won’t be part of the France side that will defend their World Cup title.
“In my life I never give up but tonight I have to think about the team like always do so the reason tells me to leave my place to someone who can help our team to make a great world cup. Thank you for all your messages of support #GoBlues,” Benzema wrote.
Didier Deschamps, Les Bleus’ gaffer, said he is “sad” that Benzema will be missing the tournament.
“I am extremely sad for Karim who had made this World Cup a major objective,” he said.
“Despite this new blow for the French team, I have full confidence in my group. We will do everything to meet the huge challenge that awaits us.”
The 34-year-old Real Madrid forward was France’s highest goal scorer at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.