Benzema injury blow for France

From Matt Barlow IN DOHA



dmg media (UK)

World Cup 2022

KARIM BENZEMA is out of France’s World Cup opener against Australia on Tuesday and fears he could miss the whole tournament. The Real Madrid striker was injured in training last night, two days before the world champions begin the defence of their title. Benzema, who is the 2022 Ballon D’Or winner, was reported to have suffered a twinge in a thigh muscle during a sprint towards the end of the session at the Al Sadd Stadium here. The 34-year-old forward has not played a minute since suffering a thigh muscle injury in Madrid’s Champions League match against Celtic on November 2. The setback means he is certain to miss France’s opening clash in Group D, which includes Denmark and Tunisia. His World Cup will now hinge on the results of scans taken last night to explore the severity of the injury. Benzema returned to international duty for Euro 2020 after a six-year exile. He was not part of the triumph in Russia four years ago, but played some of the best football of his career last season. It will be a huge blow to Didier Deschamps’ side if they lose him as they are already without Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante and Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku, who was replaced by Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani.