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2022: Ballon d’Or winner, Benzema out of France World Cup squad

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Real Madrid French forward, Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the World Cup following the injury he sustained in training on Saturday in Doha.

This was contained in a release by the Nigeria Football Federation.

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The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner felt a strong pain in his thigh during a sprint toward the end of the training session.

After undergoing an MRI, it was confirmed that Benzema had suffered a muscle tear that would need three weeks of recovery time.

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This will be the first time since 1978 that the reigning Balon d or winner will not feature due to injury.

France begin the defence of the World Cup title they won in 2018 when taking on Australia on Tuesday. Per FIFA rules, they will have until 24 hours before their first game to name a replacement to their squad.

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France’s other forward options in their squad include 2018 star Kylian Mbappe as well Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Marcus Thuram and Ousmane Dembele.

“I am extremely sad for Karim, who had made this World Cup a major objective,” coach Didier Deschamps said in a statement. “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.”

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Benzema also addressed his withdrawal in an Instagram post.

“I’ve never given up in my life but tonight I have to think of the team, as I have always done,” he said. “So reason tells me to give my place to someone who can help our squad have a great World Cup. Thanks for all your messages of support.”

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France’s preparations in Qatar had already been hit by the injury withdrawals of RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku and Paris Saint-Germain centre back Presnel Kimpembe.

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Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani and Monaco’s Axel Disasi were named as replacements.

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Ronaldo stripped of his World Cup goal by FIFA

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Ronaldo thought he’d opened the scoring against Uruguay when he leapt into the air to nod home a Bruno Fernandes cross in the 54th minute of Monday night’s clash.

The former Manchester United star timed his run to perfection and instantly celebrated the goal with teammates. But the ball did not appear to change trajectory from the moment he met Fernandes’ cross in the air.

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Instant replays showed the ball having barely made contact with his head. Only a few strands of the icon’s hair appeared to be grazed as the ball flew past Sergio Rochet and into the net.

And after several checks, the 37-year-old’s goal was chalked off and awarded to ex-Red Devils teammate Fernandes, with whom he celebrated both after the goal and following the final whistle.

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Transfer:Osimhen’s €100m price tag ‘crazy’ – Man United

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Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag, is interested in acquiring the services of Nigerian striker, Victor Osimhen but the Red Devils have made it clear that they will not be meeting the €100m price tag that Napoli have slapped on their star striker.

Sky Germany reported that the English topflight club have made Osimhen one of their top targets, but they find the price tag Napoli have put on his head ‘crazy.’

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Osimhen is one of the most coveted forwards in Europe following his remarkable goalscoring exploits with Napoli over the past 18 months. The 23-year-old bagged 14 goals in 27 games last year and has already plundered nine goals in 11 matches this term for Luciano Spalletti’s side.

The Nigeria international contributed 18 goals in 32 games last season and Napoli can’t be blamed for demanding upwards of £80m for the 23-year-old.

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Osimhen has other admirers in the Premier League and there have been links to Tottenham Hotspur.

Italian transfer reporter Enrico De Lellis has told Calciomercato that Tottenham boss Antonio Conte is urging the club to sign Osimhen.

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It’s hard to imagine Tottenham spending £86m on a new striker, unless Harry Kane is on his way out, which is unlikely.

A number of Premier League sides were credited with an interest in Osimhen’s services in the summer, but United could firm up their interest in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo’s abrupt exit from the club last week.

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Transfer: RB Leipzig striker, Nkunku To Officially Join Chelsea Next Year

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RB Leipzig striker, Christopher Nkunku will officially join Premiership side, Chelsea in June 2023 after the Blues already completed the medicals for the Frenchman, paying his €60 million release clause.

The French player has agreed on a long-term deal with the five-time premier league winners Chelsea. Nkunku scored 20 goals and recorded 13 assists last season in the Bundesliga. He has continued his impressive scoring rate with 12 games in 14 starts this campaign.

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However, the Frenchman who was part of the Didier Deschamps’ squad for the Qatar 2022 World Cup picked up an injury in training, which is now a big concern.

Meanwhile, Graham Potter is reported to have made the signing of Robert Sanchez a priority at Chelsea. Potter wants to reunite with the Spanish goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge as the English manager aims to bring reinforcements in that area.

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With Kepa struggling with injuries and Mendy falling down the pecking order, Potter needs a strong shot-stopper to fulfill the hopes of Todd Boehly.

In the same vein, Mason Mount has reportedly rejected a whopping offer of £200,000 a week from Chelsea, according to the Daily Mail.

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According to the report, Mounts wants to garner a salary worth £300,000 a week, which is close to his England teammate Raheem Sterling.

The 23-year-old is one of the lowest earners at Chelsea and therefore his demands look understandable considering the growth in stature at the club.

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