Karim Benzema of France will be on the sidelines during World Cup after suffering an injury to his left thigh during training on Saturday in Doha.
The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner noted that he felt a sharp pain in his thigh during a sprint toward the end of the training session.
An MRI scan confirmed that Benzema suffered a muscle tear during the training and requires three weeks to recover.
This is coming a few hours before the World Cup’s commencement in Qatar.
France begin the defence of the World Cup title they won in 2018 when taking on Australia on Tuesday. Per FIFA rules, they will have until 24 hours before their first game to name a replacement to their squad.
“I am extremely sad for Karim, who had made this World Cup a major objective,” Coach Didier Deschamps said in a statement.
“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.”
Benzema also addressed his withdrawal in an Instagram post.
“I’ve never given up in my life but tonight I have to think of the team, as I have always done,” he said. “So reason tells me to give my place to someone who can help our squad have a great World Cup. Thanks for all your messages of support.”