Karim Benzema could feature for France in the World Cup final against Argentina, despite missing the rest of the tournament through injury.
The Real Madrid striker was ruled out of the World Cup after picking up a thigh injury in training in Qatar on the eve of the tournament. He flew back home to Madrid to begin work on his recovery and that appeared to be the end of his chances of playing in the tournament.
The 34-year-old’s injury was given a three-week healing time and he left Doha believing he was going to be replaced in the squad. He joined the likes of Paul Pogba, Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, N’Golo Kante, and Christopher Nkunku in missing the tournament through injury.
However, manager Didier Deschamps opted not to replace Benzema on the eve of France’s first game against Australia. Instead, he has worked with 25 players in Qatar, rather than 26, and has taken Les Bleus to the final following a 2-0 win over Morocco on Wednesday night.
Benzema remains listed on the official FIFA squad for the World Cup. After recovery sessions and a holiday, the Ballon d’Or winner is now back in full training with Real Madrid and, according to Mundo Deportivo, he could return to Qatar before the final.
Real have reportedly given Benzema permission to do so and the ball is now in Deschamps’ court.
Asked by reporters of the possibility following the Morocco win, the France boss didn’t give an answer. “I’d prefer to move on to the next question,” he said.
Benzema has 37 goals in 97 caps for France and was Les Bleus’ top scorer at the 2014 World Cup