- France forward Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup after he sustained a thigh injury in training
- The injury to the reigning Ballon d'Or winner occurred just a day before the opening of the tournament in Qatar
- The 34-year-old striker has scored 37 goals all in for the France national team across 97 appearances
The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar has been robbed of witnessing undoubtedly the best pound-for-pound striker in the last 18 months, Karim Benzema, due to injury.
Benzema, who clinched the Ballon d'Or prize last month, had his World Cup dreams dashed after suffering an injury in training.
It had been hoped that the 34-year-old striker would just miss France's opener against Australia on Tuesday, November 22.
However, it has now emerged as confirmed by France that he will take no part at the Mundial, GOAL reports.
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Benzema's absence has devastated the entire football landscape preparing for the commencement of the biggest football festival.
Despite the gravity of the issue, it will come as little to no surprise to a Ghanaian sports journalist who anticipated an incident of such kind several weeks ago before the unfortunate occurred.
Known as the "Sports Bishop" in his native Ghana, Collins Atta Poku revealed he will not be surprised should either Karim Benzema or Kylian Mbappe miss out on the World Cup through injury.
According to the revered sportscaster, his analogy was premised on historical accidents which occurred in 2002 when France, who at the time were defending champions, were rocked with injuries to Robert Pires and Zinedine Zidane.
"They [France] will have to be careful," he began his analysis on the curse of the defending champion.
"I'm not a prophet of doom but if the curse of the defending champion is anything to go by either Benzema or Mbappe will miss the World Cup. I won't be surprised if Benzema or Mbappe does not play in Qatar 2022.
He continued: "I have studied what happened to Pires and Zidane in 2002. The last time the World Cup was hosted in Asia, France were defending champions.
"We are returning to Asia and France are defending champions again and this [injuries to French players] is happening again. How do you explain that?" Poku ended.
World Cup: Benzema ruled out
Earlier, Sports Brief reported that France star Karim Benzema has lost his race to be fit for the 2022 World Cup and has withdrawn from their squad, the country's football federation announced on Saturday.
The Real Madrid forward was voted the best player this year in the Ballon d'Or last month and the 34-year-old will be sorely missed by the World champions.
The emblematic Benzema has been struggling with a thigh problem since October and has played less than half an hour of football in his club's last six games.