Defending football World Cup champions are going through a streak of injury woes ahead of their 2022 campaign in Qatar. The latest addition to the list of injured French superstars is Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, the winner of the 2022 Ballon d’Or award.

France are already without their star midfielders Ngolo Kante and Paul Pogba, two pillars behind their 2018 WC triumph. Manchester United defender Raphael Varane was selected for the squad despite an injury, and his participation also remains doubtful.

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Striker Christopher Nkunku’s dreams of playing in his first-ever World Cup tournament were broken after he picked up an injury before France left for Qatar. The latest injury of Benzema, which has ruled him out of the tournament, will cast a doubt on the probability of France retaining the trophy.

The French Federation has sent out a tweet with the message, “”

Hit in the quadriceps of the left thigh, Karim @Benzema is forced to give up participating in the World Cup. The whole team shares Karim’s sadness and wishes him a speedy recovery”.

Check out the post right here:

Benzema picked up the injury during France’s first full-time practice session in Qatar ahead of their match against Australia on Wednesday, November 23. The striker has reportedly suffered a thigh injury, and will undergo further scans to reveal the exact nature and seriousness of the same.

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The only World Cup tournament the five-time Champions League winner has participated in till date has been the one in Brazil in 2014. He was not selected in Les Bleus’ World Cup-winning squad of 2018. Benzema and PSG forward Kylian Mbappe were expected to lead France into their 2022 campaign.

France are in Group B of the tournament, where, besides Australia, they will play against Denmark and Tunisia.