Influential member of France’s squad reportedly tells relative as the Real Madrid centre-forward Benzema misses FIFA World Cup due to injury

An influential member of France’s squad has reportedly highlighted Kylian Mbappe’s importance to their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign in comments made to one of his relatives after Karim Benzema’s injury.

The Real Madrid centre-forward pulled up with a thigh issue during France’s training session on November 19. Scans showed a tear in his thigh muscle, which has ruled him out of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Manager Didier Deschamps was tipped to call in a replacement for the injured Real Madrid star. Anthony Martial, Wissam Ben Yedder, and Moussa Diaby were touted as the three main contenders for the call-up.

But the French tactician has opted to march on with a 25-man squad. Les Bleus were expected to start Mbappe and Benzema in a strike partnership.

With the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner ruled out, it remains to be seen if Deschamps will star Mbappe as France’s sole striker. Otherwise, he has the likes of Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, and Randal Kolo Muani to step in if needed.

Moreover, Benzema’s absence is a psychological blow. The five-time Champions League winner would have brought with him his winning mentality and bags of experience in the dressing room.

The weight of being the nation’s main man in Qatar has seemingly fallen on Mbappe’s 23-year-old shoulders. According to L’Equipe (h/t Hadrien Grenier), an influential member of France’s squad told one of his relatives:

“Now we have a team of soldiers around Kylian Mbappé.”

Mbappe was an important presence in Les Bleus’ 2018 FIFA World Cup-winning squad. Bayern Munich’s Lucas Hernandez has claimed that Mbappe has matured even more in the last four years, which is a scary prospect for opposition defenders.

This could be the World Cup where the Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) star ushers in a new era where he is regarded as the best player in the world.

PSG chief believes France’s Kylian Mbappe is yet to reach full potential

PSG sporting director Luis Campos has claimed that Mbappe is yet to unleash his full potential.

Speaking recently to reporters in Portugal, Campos said (h/t Marca):

“Mbappe is still only at 40 or 50 percent of his potential. And I tell him that every day. He can still give much more because he is a player who has not yet finished his development.”

Mbappe played in all seven of his team’s 2018 World Cup fixtures as they went on to win the competition. He scored four times in the competition, including one in the 4-2 win against Croatia in the final.

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