Monday, November 28, 2022

France 2022 World Cup comes in blows as Karim Benzema hobbles out of practice with a forward in the race to recover from TWO injuries

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FRANCE could be without Karim Benzema for their World Cup opener against Australia after he limped out of training on Saturday.

The reigning world champion begins his title defense in Qatar on Tuesday.

Reuters

Benzema failed to complete French training on Saturday[/caption]

Reuters

The Real Madrid star is suffering from two different injury problems[/caption]

But they received some bad news just days before launching their campaign.

According to L’Equipe via Get French Football News, the Ballon d’Or winner is still plagued by hamstring problems AND knee strains.

Those reports gained credibility just hours later when Benzema pulled up and promptly finished his training session ahead of the rest of the French squad.

His fitness problems are now putting him in doubt for the opening game against Australia.

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And he’s the latest in a long line of injury troubles for Didier Deschamps after Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, Presnel Kimpembe and Mike Maignan were all left out of the selection.

Raphael Varane and Jules Kounde have been added to the squad but remain doubtful as they recover from their respective injuries.

Benzema played just 26 minutes of football for Real Madrid in November, prompting concerns from both club and country.

If he is unavailable for the Australia game, coach Deschamps will turn to AC Milan forward Olivier Giroud.


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Giroud, 36, is just two goals shy of Thierry Henry’s France international record of 51 – a tally the former Arsenal and Chelsea player will have his sights set on in Qatar.

He led the line for France at the 2018 World Cup and played an important role in helping them lift the trophy for a second time.

Benzema then returned to the national team for the Euros last year after a six-year absence from the France national team.

His break from international football came after a blackmail case involving his former teammate Mathieu Valbuena and a sextape.

He replaced Giroud for the Euros but France were knocked out by Switzerland in the round of 16.

Benzema scored 44 goals in 46 games for Real Madrid last season and propelled Carlo Ancelotti’s side to a LaLiga Champions League double.

And that incredible campaign was crowned when he won the Ballon d’Or ahead of Sadio Mane and Kevin de Bruyne in October.

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After France’s opener against Australia, they also meet Denmark and Tunisia in Group D.

Deschamps men are looking to end a streak of three consecutive world champions eliminated in the group stage of the following tournament – Italy (2010), Spain (2014), Germany (2018).

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