“Karim Benzema Will Not Be Replaced In The France Squad”... Says Deschamps, As Raphael Varane Returns From Injury.

Defending champions France will not replace the injured Karim Benzema in their World Cup squad, coach Didier Deschamps said on Sunday.

Karim Benzema, was ruled out of the 2022 World Cup just a day before it was set to start, after picking up an injury to his left thigh during training with the Les Blues on Saturday in Doha.

An MRI scan confirmed the reigning Ballon d'Or winner has suffered a muscle tear and would be out for three weeks.

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will now be the first since 1978 not to feature the current Ballon d’Or winner.

“In my life I have never given up… but tonight I have to think of the team as I have always done... Reads a statement from the Real Madrid captain.

“So reason tells me to give my place to someone who can help our squad have a great World Cup. Thank you for all your messages of support.” 


As stipulated by FIFA rules, France Coach Didier Deschamps had 24 hours before their first game to call a replacement for Benzema into the squad, however, he has decided against doing that.

When asked by a reporter via Telefoot on Sunday: "Will Karim Benzema be replaced?" The France boss responded: "No."

“We have an objective and we have a quality squad with players who know what awaits them. United on and off the pitch. I have confidence in the squad.” 

This means that France will have a 25-man squad despite being able to complete it up to 26 as most squads.

It was a huge decision made by the head coach, who already had to replace forward Christopher Nkunku after he picked up a knee injury in training last week. 

Manchester United's striker Anthony Martial was touted as one of the possible potential replacement for Benzema, following his impressive form so far this season.

Another name in contention was former Arsenal man Lacazette, who has scored nine and assisted three in 15 Ligue 1 appearances since making his return to Lyon on a free in the summer.

Right now, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Marcus Thuram and Ousmane Dembele are the other forwards left in France’s team.

Although, Deschamps has received a much-welcomed boost on the injury front.

He provided a positive fitness update on Man United centre-back Raphael Varane who would be available when they begin their title defence against Australia on Tuesday.

While several of Varane’s compatriots were unsuccessful in their race to recover to fitness for Qatar, United’s number 19 looks to have won his own battle.

The the 29-year-old and four-time Champions League winner had limped off against Chelsea in October, after attempting to tackle Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Stamford Bridge.

Fearing for his World Cup hopes, Varane who played an instrumental part in Les Bleus’ success four years ago, was visibly emotional and had to be consoled by his teammates.

He would now be available for selection, after returning to training with the team for the first time on Saturday, 

France will be hoping to get their defence off to the best possible start against the Socceroos in Group F, before playing Denmark and Tunisia in the same group afterwards.

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