Karim Benzema is absent from the World Cup in Qatar, the French Football Federation has confirmed.
The Real Madrid striker has withdrawn from the France squad after suffering a thigh problem in training on Saturday.
Benzema underwent a CT scan in a hospital in Doha after sustaining the injury in his first full session in Qatar and it has been determined he could play no part in the tournament, which begins on Sunday.
“I am extremely sad for Karim who made this World Cup a major goal. Despite this new blow for the French team, I have full confidence in my group. We will do everything to meet the enormous challenge ahead of us,” coach Didier Deschamps said in a statement.
The striker himself added: “In my life I have never given up… but tonight I have to think about the team as I always have, so reason tells me to give up my place. someone who can help our group make a great world cup.. Thank you for all your messages of support”.
It’s another blow for the 2018 World Cup winners.
France are already without influential midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante through injury.
They also lost in-form striker Christopher Nkunku to injury this week.
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The Blues open their 2022 World Cup campaign against Australia in Group D on Tuesday.
2022 Ballon d’Or winner Benzema has struggled with injuries all season, making just 12 out of a possible 21 appearances for Champions League winners Real.
France have until Sunday to call a replacement for Benzema on their reserve list.
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