The French football federation announced on Saturday that France forward Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the World Cup in Qatar after suffering an injury during training.
The Ballon d’Or winner, who has been suffering from a muscle issue, was forced to leave France’s training session on Saturday morning.
“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,” said coach Didier Deschamps in a statement.
Last season, Benzema enjoyed a spectacular season with Real Madrid, scoring 44 goals in 46 games across all competitions to help the club win the LaLiga and Champions League double.
He was France’s leading scorer in the 2014 World Cup, but he was not a part of their 2018 World Cup success, having only returned to the France team last year after a six-year absence due to a blackmailing scandal.
Benzema has scored 10 goals in 16 appearances for the international squad since his return.
“I’ve never given up in my life but tonight I have to think of the team, as I have always done,” Benzema wrote in an Instagram post.