Major blow to French hopes; injury rules out Benzema from the World Cuptext_fields
Doha: After a niggling muscle injury in the left thigh, Karim Benzema, the French star striker and this year's Ballon d'or winner rules out of the World Cup according to reports.
The striker suffered the injury during the training on Saturday.
"I've never given up in my life but tonight I have to think of the team, as I have always done. 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." Benzema confirmed his withdrawal from the tournament through an Instagram post.
The French soccer federation (FFF) also reiterated Benzema's withdrawal from the World Cup. It said that an MRI scan confirmed a thigh muscle injury which will require a three week recovery period.
The team coach Didier Deschamps said: "I am extremely sad for Karim who had made this World Cup a major objective. 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 34-year-old, who travelled to Qatar after missing five of Real Madrid's last six games before the World Cup due to another injury, troubled him over the last month.
The French team has already lost some of its prominent midfielders like N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba due to injury.
In the first match French faces Australia in Group D on Tuesday.
-IANS with Inputs