Big blow for France as Karim Benzema limps out of training just a day before the World Cup
France could be without star striker Karim Benzema for their opening fixture against Australia.
L’Equipe (via Get French Football News), had reported that Ballon d’Or winner is suffering from hamstring and knee strains. And those reports turned out to be true when he limped out of the training session on Saturday.
And he is not the only Frenchman who is an injury concern for the reigning World champions. Their long list of injured players includes Ngolo Kante, Paul Pogba, Presnel Kimpembe, and Mike Maignan, who have all been ruled out of selection.
Manchester United’s Raphael Varane and Barcelona’s Jules Kounde are also a doubt for the opening game as they continue to recover from their injuries.
If Benzema fails to recover in time, Didier Deschamps will have to turn to AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud who has an excellent record for the national team. He is only two goals short of Thierry Henry’s record of 51, which the former Arsenal and Chelsea man will be aiming for in Qatar.
He was also the leading striker in France’s 2018 World Cup campaign playing a huge role in their triumph. That year Benzema was not selected for the squad due to the off-the-pitch controversies involving him and former teammate Mathieu Valbuena.
Benzema’s injury will be a huge blow for France considering the form that the striker is in. Benzema led Real Madrid to a La Liga and Champions League double last season, scoring 44 goals in 46 games. And his incredible season culminated in him winning the Ballon d’Or in October, ahead of Sadio Mane and Kevin de Bruyne.
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