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France’s Benzema withdraws from World Cup with injury

France striker Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the Qatar 2022 World Cup after suffering an injury in training, the French football federation said last night.

The Real Madrid star, who recently won the Ballon d’Or, has been struggling with a muscle problem, and was forced to leave defending champions France’s training session earlier yesterday.

The World Cup begins today with hosts Qatar taking on Ecuador in Doha.

“I am extremely sad for Karim who had made this World Cup a major objective. 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,” France head coach Didier Deschamps said in a statement.

Benzema, 35, took to social media to confirm his withdrawal from the global showpiece.

“In my life I have never given up… but tonight I have to think of the team as I have always done so reason tells me to leave my place to someone who can help our group to make a great World Cup. Thank you for all your messages of support,” he wrote on Instagram.

France are already without key midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante because of injury.

They open their campaign against Australia in Group D on Tuesday.

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