AC Milan forward Olivier Giroud has been called up to France’s national squad for upcoming friendly matches as a replacement for the injured Karim Benzema. The France Football Federation (FFF) said Saturday that Benzema has been ruled out because of a left calf injury. (More Football News)
As part of their preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year, the defending champions will take on Ivory Coast in Marseille on March 25. They will then play South Africa in Lille four days later.
“Karim Benzema will not be able to participate in the next two matches of the French team against Cote d’Ivoire, in Marseille, on Friday March 25, and against South Africa, on Tuesday 29, in Lille Métropole,” FFF said in a statement.
“Touched in the left calf on Monday against Mallorca, the Real Madrid striker underwent additional examinations which confirmed his unavailability for the match against Barcelona and the next international rally which begins Monday at Clairefontaine,” the statement added.
Benzema, who plays for Real Madrid, was hurt Monday in a La Liga 2021-22 match against Mallorca. He scored two goals and an assist in the 3-0 win.
This is the first time that France coach Didier Deschamps has selected Giroud since the European Championship last year. He has scored 46 goals in 110 appearances for France. Giroud has played a vital role for AC Milan this season with 11 goals in 28 matches across all competitions.