France’s Karim Benzema is injured
Blast weekend there was a chance for a constellation that has never existed before at a football World Cup. Current world champions France should start the World Cup with the current winner of the Ballon d’Or, the world footballer, to avoid the fate that has befallen all defending champions since 2010: elimination from the group stage. Now the French confirmed late on Saturday evening that Karim Benzema will be canceled for the entire tournament.
He has felt a “sharp pain” in his left thigh and will not be able to play for three weeks due to a quadriceps injury. So before France’s World Cup opener this Tuesday against Australia (8 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the World Cup, on ZDF and on MagentaTV) removed from the squad. “I’ve never given up in my life, but tonight I have to think about the team like I always have,” said the 34-year-old Real Madrid striker, who missed out on the 2018 World Cup by playing in Madrid was involved in a blackmail affair over a “sex tape”.
Since then, Benzema has become a mature leader. He was considered a candidate for the role of the great tournament star. “I’m extremely sad for Karim who made this World Cup a big goal,” said Didier Deschamps, although the national coach has one problem less in addition to the sporting loss: His relationship with Benzema is not easy after the top scorer had publicly expressed the suspicion that he had not been nominated for the 2016 European Championship because of racist forces. That “left its mark”, said Deschamps in 2021.
Now he has the choice between many interesting alternatives: the young Bundesliga players Marcus Thuram (Mönchengladbach) and Randal Kolo Muani (Frankfurt) are waiting for their chance, as are the world champions Ousmane Dembélé, Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann to play alongside Kilian Mbpappé storm The team remains strong, but the World Cup is still over before the opening game this Sunday (5:00 p.m. in FAZ live ticker for the World Cupon ZDF and on MagentaTV) lost one of their most exciting players.