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HomeSportKarim Benzema, injured, will not play the World Cup in Qatar

Karim Benzema, injured, will not play the World Cup in Qatar

If the French football team manages to retain its world title on December 18, it will not be undeserved. For several weeks, the blue have chained the pitfalls. It makes you wonder if the curse of the reigning world champions – the last three were eliminated in the first round – hasn’t taken a slight edge this year.

On Saturday 19 November, while taking part in his first collective session since the start of the Blues rally, Karim Benzema was forced to leave training early. Accompanied by selection doctor Franck Le Gall, the striker then underwent tests at the Aspetar clinic in Doha, which revealed a muscle tear in the quadriceps of his left thigh.

At 11:28 p.m., the French Football Federation (FFF) formalized its package for the entire World Cup on its Twitter account.

Coach Didier Deschamps responded in one FFF press release : “I am extremely sorry for Karim, who made this World Cup a big 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 waiting for us.”

Main stakeholders expressed himself on Twitter : “In my life I have never given up, but tonight I have to think about the team, as I always have. So the reason says I have to leave my place to someone who can help our group to have a good WC. »

For a month, the Lyonnais family had struggled with pain in the hamstring. Approaching a crucial World Cup for him – he was out during the last edition, in 2018 – he had tried to spare himself by alternating between a couple of match finishes and periods of rest. His last meeting played in full dates back to October 19.

New package

The 34-year-old star is known for taking care of his body and his physical condition, but this embarrassment definitely crippled him and he ended up injuring another muscle, the quadriceps, an injury from compensation, such as athletes who return to activity, are sometimes victims. The latter definitively sealed the fate of the Madrid striker and brought a brutal and difficult end to the uncertainty hanging over the fate of one of the best players in the world.

For several days, Benzema’s state of form was almost the occasion for a daily health report, conveyed by the media following the Blues. We watched the news, we interviewed his teammates and we watched his performances in training. On Thursday 17 November, during a meeting completely open to the press and the public, all eyes were on him. The concern took over when, in the company of his teammate Raphaël Varane, also convalescing, he deviated from the group to carry out individualized exercises.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Karim Benzema, route for a Ballon d’Or

The following day, the questions were shot into the air during the traditional press conference with the two Blues of media duty. One of them, Youssouf Fofana, tried to calm down and perhaps reassure himself: “Karim Benzema is a top player. He’s a great player, he’s used to being criticized on certain points, if he couldn’t play it’s because he wasn’t 100%the Monegasques hoped. We hope he will be operational for the first game. He is very calm, he has a lot of experience, he knows his body. There’s no worry, he knows he’ll be fine and he’ll respond as soon as he can. »

This will not be the case. Didier Deschamps will therefore have to record this fifteenth package. He has until Monday evening, on the eve of joining the French team, to possibly select a replacement for the Real Madrid star on the list of twenty-six selected players

A career in Blue tormented and full of twists and turns

If he was a young pensioner at the time, Didier Deschamps certainly had the unfortunate adventure of the World Cup in 2002. That year, Zinédine Zidane, an iconic figure in French football, was injured during the final preparation match on South Korean soil. He had been kept in the group, rested in the first two games, and his hasty return in the third, against Denmark, had not changed the tricolor fiasco. This rejection of reality had certainly been capable of disturbing the collective. At Euro 2008, the uncertainty concerned another great player, midfielder Patrick Vieira. Benzema’s package, which was announced before the start of the competition, at least has the advantage of avoiding this kind of situation.

Above all, he removes another experienced and leading player from the French team. Before the World Cup, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, two figures of the 2018 world champions, have already thrown in the towel due to injuries. Defender Presnel Kimpembe has given up a few days before leaving for the Middle East, as has fellow goalkeeper Mike Maignan. As for striker Christopher Nkunku, he twisted his knee during the last training at Clairefontaine (Yvelines).

Also read: World Cup 2022: retirement, injury, exile… The Blues’ world champions face the test of time

Karim Benzema’s career in Blue remains plagued and full of twists and turns. Despite his longevity – he celebrated his first international cap in 2007 – he has only played in one World Cup to date. Not retained by Raymond Domenech in 2010, he had escaped the South African disaster. Four years later, he was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Brazilian World Cup under Deschamps’ orders. Then, on the sidelines for years, he did not return until 2021.

He turns 35 on December 19, the day after the final in Doha. He will therefore be 36 years old at the next major event that the Blues are competing for, European Championship 2024 in Germany. The horizon for another World Cup seems uncertain. In 2026, the striker will be 38 years old.

Avalanche of wounds

But Karim Benzema has never been stronger. In 2021-2022, he scored 44 goals in 46 games for Real Madrid. He carried his club during its victorious run in the Champions League, author of fifteen goals. In October 2021, he was also one of the main architects behind the Blues’ victory in the League of Nations, shining against Belgium and Spain in the semi-finals and in the final. His former teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, is preparing to play his fifth World Cup with Portugal at the age of 37.

On Thursday, it was another announced star at this World Cup who had formalized his absence. Senegalese Sadio Mané was injured with his club Bayern Munich. Having surgery a few days before the competition, he did not make the trip to Qatar.

This avalanche of injuries raises the question of the intensification of the international football calendar, which exposes players to an increasingly hectic pace. Unfortunately, stripped of their Ballon d’Or, the Blues are well placed to know that.

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