World Cup 2022: Karim Benzema package, the Blues groggy

The French world champions woke up on Sunday November 20 without Karim Benzema, Ballon d’Or struck down by a new injury. Another blow for the Blues before facing Australia at the World Cup on Tuesday (kick-off at 8 p.m.).

The series of injured continues to shake up the French team and the latest episode takes the form of a violent shock: the Real Madrid striker is on the ground, like before him Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, Mike Maignan , Presnel Kimpembe and Christopher Nkunku.

It’s a ” sledgehammer “, summarizes the daily La Provence en Une, when the sports newspaper L’Equipe headlines on the “ Lead Balloon “. Benzema” sees his hopes of winning the World Cup with the Blues dashed, one of his goals as he reported after receiving the Ballon d’Or on October 17 sums up Le Progrès, the flagship daily of his native region.

Convalescent for a month, Benzema hoped to see the end of the tunnel on Saturday, participating in his first collective training with the Blues. But he had to cut it short, victim of a “ lesion “left thigh muscle” which will require a recovery period of three weeks “, explained the Federation.

“Leave my seat”

In my life I have never given up but tonight I have to think about the team as I always have “, reacted the striker on Instagram, on the night of Saturday to Sunday. ” Reason tells me to leave my place to someone who can help our group have a good World Cup “. At 34, Benzema will probably never play a second World Cup, after that of 2014 which he finished in the quarter-finals, in the shoes of France’s top scorer.

FIFA regulations allow Didier Deschamps to call a new player until Monday, the day before France-Australia, to make a last-minute replacement in the event of injury. But he can also decide to keep a group of 25 players. To defend their 2018 title, the Blues will have to do without the former Lyonnais, who returned to favor last year after his banishment (2015-2021) following the “sextape affair”.

More than ever, Paris SG star Kylian Mbappé finds himself at the center of expectations. The attack tank remains well filled, however, with Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé, Kingsley Coman, Marcus Thuram, Randal Kolo Muani … and Olivier Giroud, eternal return and first applicant to replace Benzema.

mysterious evil

A rather thick haze has surrounded Benzema’s state of health since mid-October. He had been complaining of persistent discomfort in his right thigh for several weeks, without the nature of his physical problems being clearly established.

He had played his last match in full on October 19, an Elche-Real won 3-0 by Madrid with a goal from the Frenchman, crowned Ballon d’Or two days earlier in Paris. And he had only been able to play since then for about thirty minutes on November 2 in the Champions League. The stretch of his recovery period began to raise questions on the eve of the World Cup, in particular his ability to repeat high-intensity efforts in the heat of Qatar.