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Karim Benzema was unable to complete France’s team training session on Saturday, just three days before the reigning world champions begin their Qatar 2022 campaign against Australia.
Real Madrid striker Benzema, 34, has been struggling with an unidentified injury in the past weeks.
The veteran forward has suffered with knee and hamstring complaints this season and was placed on a specialised training programme by France ahead of the 2022 World Cup, which gets underway when host nation Qatar take on Ecuador on Sunday.
Benzema was due to return to team training on Saturday but was unable to complete the full session, raising concerns over his availability for the match against Australia.
Didier Deschamps may instead turn to Olivier Giroud, or even the Eintracht Frankfurt striker Randal Kolo Muani, who has scored eight goals in 23 games this season.
Benzema, who was awarded the UEFA Player of the Year and the Ballon d’Or for his performances in 2021 and 2022, has reestablished himself as a key player for France after a long absence from internationals.
Benzema did not play for France for over five years after being implicated in a blackmailing scandal in 2015. But he returned to the team in 2021 and has since scored 10 goals in 16 international appearances.
France are among the favourites to win the tournament in Qatar. They begin their campaign against Australia before taking on Denmark and Tunisia.
Karim Benzema ‘is OUT of France’s World Cup opener and there are fears he could miss the ENTIRE tournament