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November 20, 2022

Deschamps confirms no replacement for Benzema

By Efosa Taiwo

France manager Didier Deschamps has confirmed that there will be no replacement for injured Karim Benzema who was ruled out of the World Cup on Saturday evening after a thigh injury in training.

The defending champions had earlier lost one attacker, RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku to injury with Frankfurt forward Randal Kolo Muani called up in his stead.

Deschamps has, however, confirmed that no new player will be added to the squad to replace the reigning Ballon d’Or winner Benzema, who has already departed Qatar.

In an interview with Telefoot, Deschamps replied “No” when asked if he would be calling up a replacement.

The French manager also revealed that the scans carried out on Benzema’s hamstring indicated that he would not be fit in time to participate at the World Cup.

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On why he would not call up a replacement, Deschamps said, “Because I decided, simply.

“It’s never fun, it doesn’t make you smile. We had already lost Christopher and everyone was very sad. This is Karim. But we have a goal and the group knows very well what awaits us with a game on Tuesday.

“Everything was under control, he was going one step further as was the case with [Raphael] Varane,” who Deschamps confirmed will be fit for their first match against Australia. The centre-back suffered a leg injury against Chelsea in a Premier League match in late October, and was training alongside Benzema separately from the group.

“In training, getting injured can unfortunately happen. It’s never the right time.”

When asked if Benzema’s absence will have a negative impact on the team’s chances in Qatar, Deschamps expressed confidence that his team will make a mark regardless.

“There is a quality group. In everything they do, on and off the pitch, united. I have confidence in them. We will do everything in this first match.”