DOHA: French striker Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar with a muscle injury, the French Football Federation (FFF) said on Sunday.
"Due to an injury in the quadriceps of the left thigh, the Real Madrid striker is forced to give up participating in the World Cup," the FFF announced.
The FFF announcement revealed that Benzema was forced to cut short the collective training session after feeling pain in the quadriceps of his left thigh. He went for an MRI at a hospital in Doha and was confirmed to receive a femoral rectus injury, which will require three weeks to recover, reports Xinhua.
It is a huge blow to Les Bleus, who are aiming to defend the title four years after they were crowned in Moscow.
"I am extremely sad for Karim who made this World Cup a major goal," France coach Didier Deschamps said. "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."
It was also a massive disappointment to the striker, who missed France's triumph in 2018 after being excluded from the squad in 2015.
"I've never given up in my life but tonight I have to think of the team, as I have always done. So reason tells me to give my place to someone who can help our squad have a great World Cup. Thanks for all your messages of support," Benzema said on his Instagram account.