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World Cup 2022: France star Karim Benzema to miss tournament with quad injury

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France striker Karim Benzema is out of action for the entire 2022 World Cup with a quadriceps injury in training on Saturday.

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Benzema, 34, reportedly felt a sharp pain in his left quadriceps towards the end of France’s training session. He was initially ruled out of the team’s first match against Australia on Tuesday before France confirmed he was out for the entire tournament.

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Benzema was due to make his first World Cup appearance since 2014. He missed the 2018 tournament, which was won by France, after being expelled from the national team following extortion allegations against him after conspiring to blackmail a teammate with a sex tape. He returned to the national team in 2021 after an absence of nearly six years.

The Real Madrid striker has won the 2022 Ballon d’Or as the best male player in the world. Benzema was a phenomenal player for Real Madrid a season ago when the La Liga giants won their 14th Champions League title. Last season he scored 15 goals in 12 Champions League matches and 27 goals in 32 La Liga matches.

Prior to the World Cup, Benzema suffered a knee injury but prepared for the game after missing time at Real Madrid. He has only played seven La Liga games for Real Madrid this season, but has scored five goals.

His injury exacerbates the injury crisis in France, which was already in full swing ahead of the World Cup. Midfielders N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba have long been ruled out of the tournament after being instrumental in France’s victory four seasons ago. Christopher Nkunku was ruled out of the World Championship earlier in the week due to an injury in training. No. 2 goaltender Mike Meignan has been out of action since October with a calf injury, while defender Prenel Kimpembe ruled himself out of the national team with an injury. Centre-backs Jules Kundet and Rafael Varane are also struggling with injuries they have picked up during their club seasons, although they are looking to play in Qatar.

France is in Group D along with Denmark, Tunisia and Australia. Before the injury, Benzema was one of the favorites to win the Golden Boot award for top scorer along with teammate Kylian Mbappe.

Frenchman Karim Benzema watches a ball during a training session at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Saturday, November 19, 2022.  France will play their first World Cup match against Australia on 22 November.  (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
France striker Karim Benzema has been eliminated from the 2022 World Cup. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)



Source: sports.yahoo.com

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