Karim Benzema could finally add a World Cup winner’s medal to his trophy collection if France win, although he is ruled out with injury.
The Real Madrid striker missed Qatar 2022 after injuring his thigh while training with the Blues on the eve of the Doha tournament.
The 34-year-old has been included in Didier Deschamps’ 26-man squad for the tournament – the third World Cup call-up of his career.
But the day before the tournament’s first game, the French Football Federation announced that the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner will miss the entire competition with a left thigh injury.
The Blues had until Monday to call a replacement but ultimately decided against it.
But although Benzema won’t play a minute in Qatar, the veteran striker could still win a World Cup medal if France win it for the second time in a row, as he is still technically in the squad.
It would also be the French star’s first World Cup medal, given he was not part of the 2018 World Cup-winning squad.
France are already without influential midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante and in-form striker Christopher Nkunku through injury.
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But the Blues currently look good in their bid to retain the world title.
Even with one of their forwards sidelined, they beat Australia and Denmark in their opening Group D fixtures and sealed their place in the knockout stages.
Kylian Mbappe has already scored three goals, with Olivier Giroud scoring twice to become France’s all-time leading goalscorer, and Adrien Rabiot hitting once in the back of the net.
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