10 star players ruled out of World Cup because of injury
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is a tournament like no other in that it starts just a week after the domestic season was put on pause.
Unsurprisingly, that has meant a host of injury issues, given that a three-week injury can rule a player out of the World Cup entirely, where previously they would have had several weeks to recover prior to the tournament’s kickoff.
There are some big names missing. But who are they? Which players are still struggling with their fitness?
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10 notable players ruled out
Benzema suffered an injury to his left thigh during training on Saturday in Doha. The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner felt a strong pain in his thigh during a sprint toward the end of the training session and, after undergoing an MRI, it was confirmed that he had suffered a muscle tear that would need three weeks of recovery time.
Benzema posted an Instagram message about his withdrawal.
” I’ve never given in to despair in my life, but tonight I must think of the team as I have always done,” said Benzema. “So, reason tells me that I should give my place to someone who will help our team have a great World Cup. Thank you for your support. “
Also out for France are defender Presnel Kimpembe, goalkeeper Mike Maignan, midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante and, just a few days ago, forward Christopher Nkunku suffered a sprained left knee.
Mane, 30, picked up an injury in Bayern Munich’s 6-1 win over Werder Bremen on Nov. 8. He was substituted on 20 minutes with the team describing it the day after the match as an injury to the head of the fibula bone in his lower right leg.
Despite the injury, Mane was included in the Senegal squad for the World Cup and was expected to miss at least their first game of the tournament against the Netherlands on Nov. 20. However, the team revealed in a news conference on Thursday that further scans on the two-time African player of the year showed he would require surgery and would not be able to play in Qatar.
Werner was ruled out due to an ankle injury, his club RB Leipzig said on Nov. 3. The 26-year-old, who has 24 goals in 55 appearances for the national team, was taken off in the first half of Leipzig’s 4-0 Champions League group-stage win against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday after sustaining the injury in the 13th minute. This piece of news is very bitter,” Germany coach Hansi Flick stated. “I feel terrible for Timo personally, as he will not be able to participate in the World Cup that he so desperately wanted to. “
Meanwhile, Marco Reus‘ career has been scarred by injuries more than most. After the 33-year-old Borussia Dortmund forward watched his Germany teammates win the 2014 World Cup from home and missed Euro 2016 and Euro 2020, he now has to sit out the 2022 World Cup as well due to an ankle injury.
Florian Wirtz, 18, is also missing. He is considered one of Europe’s best young prospects, but he was forced to withdraw from the tournament after injuring his left knee in March’s Leverkusen 1-0 defeat to Cologne.
Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands)
Wijnaldum’s participation at the World Cup was ended after he fractured the tibia in his right leg in August. The midfielder was in training with AS Roma, Serie A club. He was tipped to make it to the World Cup squad despite not being in Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands squad for the Nations League matches.
“Sometimes football is s —,” Roma coach Jose Mourinho stated. “In just two weeks, Gini became one among us because of his human qualities [his soccer qualities we already knew]. Unfortunately, he sustained a serious injury in an unfortunate accident that prevented him from playing for a while. “
Tuesday, Jota was ruled out due to a calf injury suffered on Oct. 18. The 25-year-old was taken off on a stretcher deep into stoppage time during Liverpool’s 1-0 Premier League win against champions Manchester City. Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool manager, stated that it was “really not good news” that the player will be unable to attend the World Cup. “Pretty serious injury to the calf muscle, and now the process begins. That’s all. The rest of the details will follow in the coming days. It is very sad news for Portugal, the boy and us. … I don’t want [his return] to be delayed. It will take a while. “
Rob Dawson believes Gareth Southgate’s call-up of Callum Wilson is a similar surprise to James Maddison’s inclusion.
Chelsea defender James was not included in England’s 26-man squad for the World Cup after sustaining a knee injury against AC Milan last month. The 22-year-old was in a race against time to be fit and, in a statement on social media, James said he was “devastated” and added that he “truly believed” he could help the team in Qatar. James flew from England to complete a specialist recovery program. He had also started running outside at Chelsea’s Cobham base. However, after regular communication between England’s medical team and the club doctors, it was determined that the right-back was too dangerous to travel to Qatar.
Also missing for England is Chelsea left-back Ben Chilwell, who pulled up in stoppage time of Chelsea’s 2-1 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb, with scans showing he had “significant” hamstring damage.
Jesus ‘Tecatito’ Corona (Mexico)
Mexico manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino had been holding out hope that Tecatito may have been able to return to fitness in time for the tournament in Qatar and included him in El Tri‘s provisional 31-man roster two weeks ago. Martino had earlier announced that Corona would be ruled-out.
The Sevilla player broke his fibula and sustained ligament damage to his left ankle in a training session in August. The LaLiga club announced that the recovery time would take four to five months. It was unlikely that he would be able to return to play in the upcoming season.
On Nov. 5, Martino explained what had changed since he put Corona on the provisional roster: “The decision was made because we had a triple communication with Jesus, where we spoke with the doctor, the physical trainer and myself. [Corona] told me directly that he was not able to compete for a spot in the [World Cup] tournament. “
Arthur Melo (Brazil)
Juventus midfielder Arthur, who is on loan at Liverpool, has been out of action after suffering a thigh injury in October. After only one appearance for the Reds, Arthur had surgery in London. He is expected to be out until January.
Brazil defender Diego Carlos is also missing after he ruptured an Achilles tendon in Aston Villa’s victory over Everton in August.
Lo Celso suffered a hamstring injury for which the midfielder requires surgery during Villarreal’s LaLiga loss against Athletic Bilbao on Oct. 30. The 26-year-old midfielder was replaced and scans confirmed that he suffered a hamstring tear. Spanish media reported Lo Celso, a loanee from Tottenham Hotspur had exhausted all options and was unable to fly to Qatar. He also sought consultations from specialists around the globe for a less invasive treatment.
Argentina are also missing forwards Nicolas Gonzalez and Joaquin Correa. Fiorentina’s Gonzalez suffered a muscular injury during Thursday’s training session. Inter Milan’s Joaquin Correa was also missing due to an undisclosed injury.
One of Morocco’s most talented players, Harit was injured in his club’s final game before the World Cup. After colliding with Axel Disasi, France’s midfielder, Harit sustained a cruciate ligament sprain in Marseille’s 3-2 win over Monaco in Ligue 1.
Manager Igor Tudor stated: “From what it’s known, it’s quite serious. We talked about it all week, and it was very sad that he was injured just before the World Cup. “
“As you can imagine, beyond the physical pain, it’s hard to see the World Cup dream fly away a few hours before living it,” Harit said.
Alphonso Davies loved returning to Bayern Munich training as a World Cup qualifier with Canada.
10 notable players to watch with ongoing injury issues
Paulo Dybala (Argentina)
Raul Jimenez (Mexico)
Kalvin Phillips (England)
Raphael Varane (France)
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