2022 World Cup: Guadeloupe-born striker Christopher Nkunku withdraws

A birthday among the Blues on Monday, an injury the next day. Fate is cruel for striker Christopher Nkunku, who had to forfeit the FIFA World Cup on Tuesday November 15 on the eve of the French team’s departure for Qatar.

The Leipzig player, current top scorer in the Bundesliga, suffers from a ” sprain “ in the left knee, announced the French Football Federation (FFF), after contact with Eduardo Camavinga, during the opposition on reduced ground which closed, at the Clairefontaine training center (Yvelines), the last training before the departure Wednesday morning for Doha.

Christopher Nkunku, who had just celebrated his 25th birthday, left his partners grimacing and clutching his left knee. And the medical check-up was not long in coming: “The radiological examinations taken in the evening unfortunately revealed that it was a sprain”, explains the FFF.

Waiting for a return from FIFA to summon a new player

The name of his replacement has not been communicated for the moment, the FFF being awaiting a return from FIFA, which must authorize it to make a change in the list of 26 Blues after having checked the medical status of the player. In the event of a serious injury, the regulations allow, in fact, to make a change in this list, submitted since Monday.

Even if he did not apply, a priori, for a starting place, the former Parisian, crowned best player in the German championship last season, appeared as a luxury substitute for the France team, despite his eight selections, all known in 2022.

On Monday, an additional striker, Marcus Thuram – the son of Lilian Thuram -, aged 25, had already been called up to join in the offensive line Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappé, Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembélé, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and the now unhappy Christopher Nkunku, whom he is trailing in the Bundesliga scoring charts.

The carnage therefore continues among the reigning world champions. Number two goalkeeper Mike Maignan had already had to throw in the towel, hit in the calf, like the accomplice midfield duo of 2018, made up of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté. Monday, it was Presnel Kimpembe, affected in the Achilles tendon, who said goodbye to the World Cup in Qatar. It was AS Monaco central defender Axel Disasi who was called up at the last minute to make up for this package when he had never been called up before by Didier Deschamps.

Injured in a thigh on October 22, defender Raphaël Varane is continuing his recovery program while respecting the expected transition times. The management is confident about its participation in the first match of the World Cup against Australia, Tuesday, November 22 in Doha.

After having had twenty-seven days of preparation for the 2014 World Cup, then twenty-four in 2018 and twenty at the last Euro, in June 2021, the Blues have only eight days, this time, between the start of their rally, Monday , and their debut in Qatar.

“A week is not a preparation”admitted Didier Deschamps on Monday, joined by his deputy Guy Stéphan. “The players, they all, or almost, played during the weekend. On Wednesdays, we make them fly six or seven hours, and on the 17th [jeudi]we are already at D − 5. It will go very, very quickly »described the latter, recently, to Agence France-Presse.

Almost all of the qualifying nations are in a similar situation, although some will only start their tournaments on November 23 or 24.

With AFP

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