Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema could theoretically be back in the French World Cup squad in Qatar as per multiple reports. The Spanish press, earlier today, stated that the forward has already recovered from the injury which ruled him out of the tournament.
Benzema was forced to leave Didier Deschamps’ squad before France’s first game against Australia. The Ballon d’Or winner was struggling with fitness before the start of the tournament. But the 34-year-old suffered an unrelated injury upon his return to the team training.
However, Benzema has reportedly recovered quicker than expected. As per multiple Spanish media, like the Onda Madrid, the Real Madrid frontman could return to training this midweek. As per FIFA rules, Benzema can return to the France squad and compete in the remainder of the World Cup as he was included in the initial squad.
Ultimately, the decision will be Deschamps’s who will have to take the call on whether to bring back the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner or trust the bunch of boys without him. Regardless, Benzema would receive a winning medal if the French manage to defend their World Cup title. FIFA confirmed to RMC Sport that if Les Bleus’ win the final, which will be played on December 18, FIFA gives out 26 medals, a number that corresponds with the size of France’s squad before Benzema’s departure.
Benzema was the top scorer of Les Bleus at the 2014 World Cup but didn’t feature in France's victorious 2018 World Cup campaign. Deschamps recalled him for the European Championship in 2021, where he once again led France with four goals.
Along with Benzema, forward Christopher Nkunku was ruled out of the World Cup during the team's previous training session on Tuesday evening. Similarly, Deschamps is already without midfielders Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante, who were crucial for France in the World Cup four years ago.
Benzema addressed his injury and expressed disappointment as he posted an emotional note on Instagram. The Frenchman expressed best wishes for his team and the player replacing him. The statement said, "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."