Karim Benzema ‘is OUT of the World Cup’ after suffering a new injury in his first full training session ahead of the tournament… in a significant blow to France’s chances of defending their trophy in Qatar
- Karim Benzema has reportedly been ruled out of the World Cup with injury
- The Real Madrid striker suffered a new thigh injury in a training session in Qatar
- It was his first full training session after suffering with hamstring and knee issues
- Benzema had been training separately alongside injured Raphael Varane
- He would be the second striker to pull out with injury after Christopher Nkunku
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France have been dealt a massive blow to their hopes of retaining the World Cup as Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema has reportedly been ruled out of the tournament through injury.
The Real Madrid striker saw his first full training session in the middle-east brought to an early conclusion after he suffered an injury on Saturday. He was then brought in for scans to decide whether he could participate in Qatar.
In a bitter blow for the 34-year-old, French publication Le Parisien have ruled that the injury is significant enough to rule the striker out of the tournament.
Karim Benzema’s World Cup dream is reportedly over after suffering an injury on Saturday
Benzema suffered a thigh injury in his first full training session after prior fitness issues
Benzema suffered a new thigh injury and not a reoccurrence of the knee and hamstring problems that had seen him train away from the squad alongside other injury doubtful Raphael Varane.
The Madrid star was working his way through a personalised training programme developed by French staff that aimed to help him recover quickly from other concerns.
But it appears that the striker has been ruled out of what would likely have been his final World Cup appearance, giving manager Didier Deschamps a decision to make on whether to call up a replacement.
Benzema (middle) has underwent individual training sessions alongside Raphael Varane (left)
Benzema (middle left) had been expected to lead the France attack alongside Kylian Mbappe
Deschamps has already been forced into making attacking alterations after fellow striker Christopher Nkunku saw his World Cup hopes brought to an end after he was injured in a training session before the team departed for Qatar.
National team managers can make last-minute changes up until Monday as players attempt to avoid injuries and nurse themselves closer to kick-off.
Benzema had been expected to play a key role in leading an already injury-stricken French side to a successful World Cup defence alongside fellow attacker Kylian Mbappe.
Benzema has only made one World Cup appearance for France, coming in 2014
The French striker’s only World Cup appearance so far came in 2014 with Benzema absent from team selection during France’s 2018 title-winning campaign.
It is yet to be seen who would be called up to replace Benzema should the five-times Champions League winner be forced to miss the tournament.
There had been concerns going into the tournament about the impact of potential injuries with a short break between domestic football coming to a halt and the World Cup starting.
Sadio Mane, the man who finished second to Benzema in the Ballon d’Or rankings, has also been ruled out of the tournament after he suffered an injury in his final game with Bayern Munich.