After injuring his knee during the defending champions’ opening victory over Australia, France defender Lucas Hernandez will miss the rest of the World Cup, the team said on Wednesday.
The French Football Federation announced that the Bayern Munich defender tore his anterior cruciate ligament during Tuesday’s 4-1 victory against the Socceroos. He now joins a list of injuries that are becoming longer.
Karim Benzema, the Ballon d’Or winner, was forced to withdraw from the tournament on Saturday due to a left thigh injury.
Three important members of the team that won the World Cup in Russia in 2018 — Paul Pogba, N’Golo Kante, and Presnel Kimpembe — were ruled out due to injuries before the team left for Qatar.
Coach Didier Deschamps must now juggle his options as his squad is reduced to 24 players.
In a statement, Deschamps said: “I feel terrible for Lucas, as does the entire group, the staff, and the players. We are losing an important player. Being a warrior, Lucas will do all in his power to regain his previous level of fitness.”
Hugo Lloris, captain of France, stated: “To be honest, it’s starting to become a big deal.” After the game, the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper said, “We sensed immediately it was serious.”
“It’s the most recent setback, but we must keep going forward. It will make us more strong.”
After Craig Goodwin gave the Socceroos the lead in the ninth minute, France, seeking to become the first team to successfully defend the title since Brazil in 1962, had to come from behind.
In addition to Adrien Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe scoring, Olivier Giroud scored twice to equal Thierry Henry with 51 goals in France.