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Karim Benzema sends message to France replacement following World Cup injury blow

Karim Benzema sends message to France replacement following World Cup injury blow

France has confirmed that Karim Benzema will miss the FIFA World Cup, dealing a devastating blow to the defending champions.

On Saturday, the 34-year-old returned to training with his colleagues for the first time since the club regrouped at their Doha base following a season marred by injury.

Benzema was forced to leave from the practice after experiencing pain in his thigh during a sprint. He had scans immediately to ascertain the severity of the injury.

France has confirmed that the Real Madrid player will not play in Qatar due to an injury that would sideline him for at least three weeks.

“I am extremely sad for Karim who made this World Cup a major goal,” Les Blues boss Didier Deschamps said. “Despite this new blow for the French team, I have full confidence in my group.

“We will do everything to meet the huge challenge that awaits us.”

A France FA spokesperson added: “He had an MRI scan which unfortunately confirmed a lesion of the thigh muscle, which needs a recovery time of three weeks.”

In an Instagram post, Benzema wished his France teammates, as well as whoever will replace him, the best of success.

“In my life I have never given up but tonight I have to think about the team as I have always done so reason tells me to leave my place to someone who can help our group have a good World Cup,’ Benzema wrote. ‘Thank you for all your messages of support.”

Deschamps will have the opportunity to replace Benzema prior to Monday.

Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante, both of whom were instrumental in France’s 2018 victory in Russia, have been ruled out of the competition due to injury.

Didier Deschamps is also without RB Leipzig player Christophe Nkunku, who suffered an injury during this week’s training session after a collision with Eduardo Camavinga.

France will open their season against Australia on Tuesday evening, followed by a match against Denmark on Saturday. The gang concludes its campaign against Tunisia on November 30.

Raphael Varane is pushing for a starting spot after recovering from a hamstring injury he sustained in October’s Premier League match against Chelsea.

Varane, like Benzema, trained with the rest of the team on Saturday, avoiding injury in his effort to start against Australia the following week.

Karim Benzema sends message to France replacement following World Cup injury blow

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