Karim Benzema (R) has scored 15 goals in the Champions League this season and is the favourite for the Ballon d'Or
Karim Benzema will need to sit out three weeks to recover from a thigh injury he sustained during the team practice of France. AFP / JAVIER SORIANO


  • Karim Benzema suffered a thigh injury during training on Saturday
  • He wished France luck at the World Cup after he was forced to give up his spot
  • France has until Monday, the eve of its game against Australia, to call up a replacement for Benzema

France's star striker Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the FIFA World Cup 2022 after suffering a thigh injury during training Saturday.

The 34-year-old Ballon d'Or winner's dream of winning the World Cup was shelved before he even played a single game in Qatar after tearing a muscle in his left thigh, the Associated Press reported, citing an official statement from the French soccer federation (FFF).

"Karim Benzema is out of the World Cup," the FFF said. "After hurting the quadriceps on his left thigh, the Real Madrid striker is forced to give up on taking part in the World Cup."

Benzema was participating in his first full training session with Les Bleus when he suddenly felt pain in his left thigh, the organization said.

He went to a hospital in Qatar's capital, Doha, and an MRI scan confirmed that he suffered a tear, according to the FFF.

Benzema will need at least three weeks to recover from the injury, the FFF said.

The UEFA Player of the Year winner addressed the development via Instagram after the announcement that he would not be able to play for the defending champions in the 2022 World Cup.

"I've never given up in my life, but tonight I have to think of the team, as I have always done," Benzema posted on his Instagram. "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."

France coach Didier Deschamps said that he was "very sad for Karim who had made this World Cup a major objective," according to AP.

Benzema has hardly played in recent weeks. Since winning the Ballon d'Or, he played fewer than 30 minutes for Madrid, and the Saturday training session was his first full one with France.

France faces Australia on Tuesday in Group D. The French team will then face Denmark on Nov. 26 and then Tunisia on Nov. 30.

Deschamps has until Monday, the eve of the Australia game, to call up a replacement for Benzema to his 26-player squad.

News that Karim Benzema was dropping his appeal came just hours after he scored the opening goal in France's UEFA Nations League clash with Denmark
Karim Benzema will miss his chance to play at the 2022 World Cup after incurring a thigh injury. AFP / Franck FIFE