Karim Benzema is to miss the whole World Cup after being injured during training with France in Qatar.
The French Football Federation said in a statement that the Real Madrid forward was forced to cut short training after feeling “pain in the quadriceps of his left thigh”. An MRI scan later confirmed a rectus femoris tendon injury, which means the 34-year-old Ballon d’Or winner faces a three-week recovery period.
Didier Deschamps, the France coach, said: “I am extremely sad for Karim who made this World Cup a major goal. Despite this new blow for the French team, I have full confidence in my group. We will do everything to meet the huge challenge that awaits us.”
The World Cup holders, already with Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté, begin their defence against Australia on Tuesday. Denmark and Tunisia are also in Group D.
More to follow