Ballon d'Or Winner Karim Benzema Out of World Cup Due to Injury
Karim Benzema of Real Madrid reacts after scored a goal during the UEFA Champions League Final against Liverpool — Photo by katatonia82

Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the 2022 World Cup on the eve of France’s opening game against Australia.

The Real Madrid forward has been ruled out due to a quadriceps injury which he suffered in training on Saturday, the French Football Federation (FFF) confirmed.

Benzema had been making his way back following injury issues with Real Madrid, with Saturday’s session being his first full training with the reigning world champions.

The 34-year-old left training after feeling discomfort in his quad, before undergoing an MRI which confirmed the injury, requiring three weeks recovery, thus ending his World Cup campaign before it had begun.

“Karim Benzema is out of the World Cup,” the FF said. “After hurting the quadriceps on his left thigh the Real Madrid striker is forced to give up on taking part in the World Cup.”

The FFF are yet to confirm a replacement, with that likely to come on Sunday ahead of their opener against Australia on Tuesday.

Les Bleus head coach Didier Deschamps had confidence in his players, despite Benzema’s injury being a “blow” and “extremely sad”.

“I am extremely sad for Karim who had made this World Cup a major objective,” Deschamps 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.”

Benzema joins several top French players in missing the World Cup due to injury, including Christopher Nkunku, N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Presnel Kimpembe and Mike Maignan.

“In my life I have never given up but tonight I have to think about the team, as I have always done, so reason tells me to leave my place to someone who can help our group make a good World Cup,” Benzema wrote on Instagram. “Thank you for all your messages of support.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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