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Karim Benzema to miss 2022 World Cup with thigh injury

The reigning Ballon d’Or winner has been scratched from the tournament

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Previews
Karim Benzema of France during Team France practice ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at Al Sadd SC Stadium on November 19, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

France striker Karim Benzema, one of the pivotal players in the squad and the current Ballon d’Or holder, will miss the 2022 FIFA World Cup after picking up a thigh injury in training.

This is a massive setback for France, as Benzema was expected to headline the attack along with Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann. The defending champions are already without Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante for this tournament and will now be down one of the best strikers in the world. Olivier Giroud is likely to replace Benzema in the starting lineup, although Griezmann could become the point man as well. Mbappe should remain on the wing where he can best use his speed.

France is +700 to win the World Cup according to DraftKings Sportsbook. They are -225 to win their group and -1400 to advance to the knockout stage. Benzema’s absence alone won’t prevent France from making a deep run. It does require their other stars to step up.