Can Karim Benzema Play for France in the 2022 World Cup Final?


Despite a slew of injuries before and during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, France has managed to make it back to the final for the second straight tournament where it will meet Lionel Messi and Argentina.

Among the players not picked or out of the squad due to injury are N’Golo Kante, Paul Pogba, Christopher Nkunku, Mike Maignan, Presnel Kimpembe, Lucas Hernandez and Karim Benzema, with Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano missing the semifinal against Morocco due to illness. The first eight are starting-caliber players, with Kante and Pogba being at the heart of Les Bleus’ midfield in their 2018 title run.

But one of those eight players is sparking interest for possibly returning to the final against Argentina: 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Benzema.

The soon-to-be 35-year-old striker had to pull out of the squad just days before the tournament started due to a thigh injury, but a return to Qatar could be on the cards.

According to Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo, Benzema has been granted permission by his club Real Madrid to go to Lusail Iconic Stadium for the final. It would be up to Benzema to decide if he wants to fly out ahead of the Sunday kick-off time to do so.

Can he actually play? That’s likely a different story. Though he’s been back in training with Real Madrid and is still listed in France’s official squad as manager Didier Deschamps never replaced him in his 26-man team, it doesn’t seem like a topic he wants to discuss.

After the win against Morocco, Deschamps asked for a new question when urged about a potential Benzema return against Argentina.

Regardless if he attends or not, Benzema will be eligible to receive either a gold or silver medal depending on if France wins or loses since he is still listed as a member of the squad.

In Benzema’s replacement, 36-year-old Olivier Giroud stepped up to the task with four goals in five starts in Qatar, putting him tied for second in the race for the Golden Boot Award after going goalless in 2018.

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