Karim Benzema sustained a leg injury during practise on Saturday, and the French and Spanish sports media report that he will likely miss France’s opening World Cup match against Australia and may even miss the entire tournament.
The 34-year-old had a problem in his left leg, which was distinct from the one that bothered him over the past month, and travelled to Qatar after missing five of Real Madrid’s previous six games before the World Cup due to a bothersome muscle strain.
According to the Spanish tabloids Diario AS and El Mundo Deportivo and the French sports publication L’Equipe, Benzema will undoubtedly miss his team’s opening game on Tuesday and may be forced to withdraw from the tournament altogether, according to Xinhua.
The Ballon d’Or winner for this year reportedly hurt himself while participating in a practise session with the rest of coach Didier Deschamps’ anticipated starting lineup against Australia.
It will be a further setback for the French coach, who has already lost N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba to injury, if Benzema is forced to leave the competition.
It would also be a huge letdown for the striker, who missed France’s victory in 2018 after being dropped from the team in 2015 due to an alleged incident involving Mathieu Valbuena, another international teammate.