France striker Karim Benzema has been ruled out of the World Cup in Qatar after suffering an injury in training, the French football federation said on Saturday. The Ballon d'Or winner, who has been struggling with a muscle problem, was forced to leave defending champions France's training session earlier on Saturday. "I am extremely sad for Karim who had made this World Cup a major objective. 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," said coach Didier Deschamps in a statement. Benzema had a stellar season with Real Madrid last season, scoring 44 goals in 46 games in all competitions as he helped guide them to a LaLiga and Champions League double. He was France's top scorer at the 2014 World Cup, but was not part of their victory in the 2018 edition, having only returned to the France team last year following a six-year absence. A blackmail scandal and his comment that … [Read more...] about France striker Benzema out of World Cup with injury
Following are the betting odds for the winners of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and the top goalscorer at the tournament, which will be held in Qatar from Nov. 20-Dec. 18. WILLIAM HILL Winners: * Brazil - 4/1 * Argentina - 5/1 * France - 13/2 * England - 7/1 * Spain - 8/1 Top goalscorer: * Harry Kane (England) - 8/1 * Kylian Mbappe (France) - 9/1 * Karim Benzema (France) - 10/1 * Neymar (Brazil) - 12/1 * Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 12/1 BET365 Winners: * Brazil - 15/4 * Argentina - 11/2 * France - 13/2 * England - 8/1 * Spain - 8/1 Top goalscorer: * Harry Kane (England) - 7/1 * Kylian Mbappe (France) - 9/1 * Neymar (Brazil) - 12/1 * Karim Benzema (France) - 12/1 * Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 12/1 LADBROKES Winners: * Brazil - 4/1 * Argentina - 11/2 * France - 6/1 * England - 7/1 * Spain - 8/1 Top goalscorer: * Harry Kane (England) - 7/1 * Kylian Mbappe (France) - 8/1 * Karim Benzema (France) - 10/1 * Cristiano … [Read more...] about World Cup 2022 betting odds: which team are favourites to win?
Qatar has spent $200 billion on a remarkable construction project to host the World Cup after the tiny Gulf state shocked the football world by winning the right to host the tournament in 2010. Qatar's goalkeeper Saad Al Sheeb fails to stop a goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A football match between Qatar and Ecuador at the Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, north of Doha on November 20, 2022.Photo: Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP A crowd of 67,372 packed into the impressive Al Bayt Stadium, modelled on a traditional Bedouin tent, for the opening ceremony. South Korean K-pop star Jung Kook headlined the 30-minute spectacle that featured Hollywood star Morgan Freeman giving a message of diversity. Ghanim Al-Muftah, a Qatari activist for the disabled, born with the rare Caudal Regression Syndrome, appeared with Freeman and stated to the crowd: "Everyone is welcome". With FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman watching, Qatar's … [Read more...] about World Cup kicks off with hosts Qatar defeated
France started their World Cup title defence in style with a 4-1 comeback win against Australia on Tuesday, with Olivier Giroud scoring two goals to become Les Bleus' joint all-time top scorer. Giroud netted before and after the break to take his tally to 51 goals, matching Thierry Henry's mark. He scored either side of a Kylian Mbappe goal after Adrien Rabiot had levelled for France following Craig Goodwin's shock early opener. Les Bleus are the first defending champions to win their opening match since Brazil in 2006, which has already put them in a good position to advance from the group phase, something Italy in 2010, Spain in 2014 and Germany in 2018 failed to do. France, whose defender Lucas Hernandez was ruled out of the World Cup after picking up a serious knee injury in the first half, have three points and lead Tunisia and Denmark by two after they played out a 0-0 draw on Tuesday. Didier Deschamps's side, who started the tournament on the back of the disappointment … [Read more...] about France beat Australia 4-1 in opener as Giroud equals scoring record