Karim Benzema ruled out of whole World Cup in major blow to France

Karim Benzema is to miss the whole World Cup after being injured during training with France in Qatar.

The French Football Federation said in a statement that the Real Madrid forward was forced to cut short training after feeling “pain in the quadriceps of his left thigh”. An MRI scan later confirmed a rectus femoris tendon injury, which means the 34-year-old faces a three-week recovery period.

Didier Deschamps, the France coach, said: “I am extremely sad for Karim who made this World Cup a major goal. 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.”

The injury-hit World Cup holders, already without Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, begin their defence against Australia on Tuesday. Deschamps has until Monday to call up a replacement for Benzema, with the Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder one option.

Benzema had hardly played at all in recent weeks and this was his first full training…

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This article was written by Observer Sport and originally published on www.theguardian.com