France striker Karim Benzema has revealed the “reason” he withdrew from his country’s World Cup squad on the eve of the tournament after a gutting injury blow.
The Real Madrid star was forced out of training on Saturday evening having only joined his teammates for the first time in a full session. His participation did not last long at all though as he was forced to step out.
Having undergone more testing in Qatar after the session, the French national team confirmed that the Ballon d’Or holder was forced to make the decision to step out of the squad.
An official statement read: “Hit in the quadriceps of the left thigh, the Real Madrid striker is forced to give up participating in the World Cup. Karim 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, which unfortunately confirmed a femoral rectus injury, which will require a three-week recovery period. After having exchanged with Dr. Franck Le Gall then the Real Madrid striker, Didier Deschamps recorded Karim Benzema’s package for the World Cup.”
Now, Benzema has offered his view on his injury with a short statement on Twitter. He said that his decision was purely for the betterment of the reigning world champions.
The 34-year-old wrote: “In my life I have never given up but tonight I have to think about the team as I have always done so reason tells me to leave my place to someone who can help our group make a good World Cup. Thank you for all your messages of support.”
Benzema’s withdrawal is the latest in a long list of injury issues that Didier Deschamps’ men have had to put up with ahead of the World Cup. Ahead of selecting his squad, he saw N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba pull out with respective problems.
In the meantime, Christopher Nkunku was also forced to give up his place in the team having picked up a serious injury in training. Despite the blow, Deschamps is still optimistic of France becoming the first nation to retain the World Cup since Brazil in 1962.
Speaking after Benzema picked up his injury, he said: “I am extremely sad for Karim who made this World Cup a major goal. 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.”
France begin their tournament against Australia on Tuesday before taking on Denmark and Tunisia.