OFFICIAL: Karim Benzema RULED OUT Of France Squad For The 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Karim Benzema will MISS the 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

He will not be part of France 26 man squad after picking up a thigh injury in training.

This will be the second consecutive World Cup that Benzema will miss, as confirmed by the French national team.

The French striker Karim Benzema left France's training session on Saturday at the Jassim bin Hammad Stadium after feeling severe muscle pain in his right leg, in a different area from the one that had been bothering him in recent weeks which has kept him out since October.

He was already ruled out of France's opening game against Australia on Tuesday. He was later sent for an MRI test at Aspetar Hospital in Doha, where his worst fears were confirmed.

Benzema's last game played in full for Real Madrid dates back to October 19.

It's a huge loss to the Les Blues due to the superb performance he had been having with the French team, in which he had become a key piece of the team forming a strong offensive partnership with Kylian Mbappé.

Coach Didier Deschamps now have until Monday to call up a replacement, ahead of their first match of the World Cup against Australia on Tuesday.

Benzema was certainly on the trip to Brazil in 2014, where France had reached the quarters, but he missed the 2018 edition in Russia, following his dismissal from the France team between 2015 and 2021 over his alleged blackmail of ex-France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, a case that earned him a prison sentence without serving.

The 34-year-old whose standout performances for club and country in 2022 saw him won the Ballon d'Or just last month, assured that becoming world champion was now the main goal of his career.

He becomes the first Ballon d'Or winner to miss the world's biggest sporting event, as every Ballon d'Or winner has played in the World Cup since 1982, which makes Benzema's absence that much more painful.

He has scored 37 goals all in for the national team across 97 appearances.

France has already had to deal with the loss of center-back Presnel Kimpembe and striker Christophe Nkunku, replaced respectively by Axel Disasi and Kolo Muani.

They would also be without Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, and Mike Maignan.

The player to replace Benzema in the starting XI against Australia is the veteran Olivier Giroud, 36, who has returned to the team after months of absence and who is two goals away from equaling Thierry Henry as France's all-time top scorer.

Manchester United's striker Anthony Martial will reortedly be called up to join the main squad, filling the vacant spot left behind by Benzema.

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