The most recent winner of the Ballon D’Or will be missing from Qatar this winter, with Karim Benzema out of the World Cup due to injury. The decision was announced late on the evening of November 19, just days before France open their World Cup campaign against Australia.
Karim Benzema Out of the World Cup
What Happened to Karim Benzema?
According to reports from the France team’s official Twitter account, Benzema was “hit in the quadriceps of the left thigh”. Given Les Bleus’ schedule at this point in the World Cup buildup, this is an injury that likely occurred when training for the competition. This was reportedly the first time that the Real Madrid forward had attended a training session with his compatriots.
Impact injuries happen for a range of reasons, including players going for a 50/50 challenge or the forward even being hit by the ball at high speeds. Regardless of the cause of the injury, the most recent Ballon D’Or winner is unable to take to the field and do battle with fellow winners including Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luca Modric and more.
What Does This Mean for France?
The next step in the process is the France team getting to pick another player. With Christopher Nkunku missing from the side through injury too, players such as Randal Kolo Muani have seen callups. This is a severe step down in quality for the French side, losing the Bundesliga player of the year to an inferior player with Benzema’s replacement not likely to be better.
Didier Deschamps’ task of beating a rampant Denmark to the group win is not made easier with this loss. The French front line would likely feature the Ballon D’Or winner in a prominent role alongside Kylian Mbappe. This could mean a significant structural change for the side, with players thrust into a vastly different tactical landscape at very short notice.
Last Word on Football recognise Qatar’s human rights abuses and instances of corruption taking place throughout the country and in the background of the World Cup. Learn more about some of the issues surrounding the World Cup here.
Karim Benzema is OUT of the World Cup according to several sources 🤕 pic.twitter.com/ToLcSNUUxg
— 433 (@433) November 19, 2022