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Benzema could have played in France’s World Cup RO16 clash – report

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Defending world champions France have enjoyed a great run at Qatar, having already secured a semifinal berth. They faced a tough fight from England in their last round but came up clutch to progress and are now just two games from defending their title.

What makes their run more special is the fact that the team is lacking some of its biggest stars through injury. N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, and Christopher Nkunku are just a few of the several names missing from Les Bleus. However, the most notable absentee is Karim Benzema.

The French striker was initially called up to the squad in Qatar but suffered a thigh injury just days before the team’s first game. His participation was subsequently ruled out, but shocking news about Benzema’s situation has now come to light via MARCA.

The Spanish outlet report that the veteran had recovered a while ago and that he could have easily been part of the team for their Round of 16 clash. The decision to send him home is seen as a hasty call.

The 34-year-old sustained a thigh injury on November 19 and manager Didier Deschamps definitively ruled him out of the tournament on November 29, amidst reports claiming that he could return to the squad.

On the same day, Benzema took off for a vacation at the Reunion Islands before eventually returning to Madrid to resume training.

While he may have not returned to the national team camp, Benzema’s name has not been removed from the France squad as Deschamps did not call for any replacement. Thus, the player could, in theory, get a medal if his team wins the World Cup in Qatar.

The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner had an imperious season in 2021/22 but has had a relatively rough start to the new campaign.

In his injury-ridden season so far, he has played just seven league games for Los Blancos, scoring five goals and providing one assist in the process. In the UEFA Champions League, however, he is yet to open his tally.

Having now returned to full training with Real Madrid, he will be hoping to enjoy an injury-free season from this point on and help Los Blancos retain their La Liga and UEFA Champions League crowns.

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Real Madrid News

France set for major boost as Real Madrid midfielder closes in on a return

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Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

After a long wait, the European Championship is finally underway, with one of the tournament’s favourites Germany opening the competition with an emphatic 5-1 win over Scotland.

Another favourite to win the Euro 2024 is France, who will be in action on Monday as they take on Austria. One of the talking points heading into this game is the fitness of Real Madrid superstar, Aurelien Tchouameni.

The Frenchman had picked up an injury late into the 2023/24 campaign, which notably saw him miss the UEFA Champions League final. It was thought that the midfielder would miss a chunk of the Euros as well.

Tchouameni available for France’s group stage games

However, it appears Tchouameni has made a remarkable recovery and could be in contention to feature in France’s group-stage matches.

That is according to AS, which suggests that coach Didier Deschamps is counting on the midfielder to become available sooner rather than later.

Aurelien Tchouameni will soon be available for France. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Although Tchouameni has been ruled out for France’s opening game against Austria, the player is hoping to feature in the two remaining group matches against Poland and the Netherlands.

Up until this point, Tchouameni completed individual training sessions with France’s physical trainer. But recently, he was able to join the team’s training session ahead of the Austria game.

Tchouameni’s return could serve as a massive boost for France. Even though Les Bleus already have a stacked midfield unit, coach Deschamps is a huge admirer of Tchouameni and had backed him to get fit the moment he picked up an injury.

Deschamps, after all, did not opt to replace the Real Madrid star with another player.

France, of course, will have to proceed with caution, knowing the youngster has just recovered from his injury. But they can be hopeful of the player taking part as the tournament progresses.

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