Karim Benzema will not be in Qatar 2022 and despite being the recent winner of the Ballon d’Or, the story continues that a winner of this award has never won the World Cup
Benzema’s departure from the World Cup, less than 24 hours before the start of the tournament, is the last in the chapter of players killed in combat. A muscle problem will keep the Frenchman off the pitch for three weeks.
He is the third Ballon d’Or to miss the World Cup, after Alfredo Di Stéfano in 1958 and Allan Simonsen, in 1978. Both because they did not qualify; Benzema is the first due to injury.
This award, the most precious at the individual level in the world, has not been linked to success in the international tournament. Quite the opposite. No Ballon d’Or winner has lifted the award in the season of their choice.
From Di Stéfano’s absence in 1958 to Benzema’s in 2022, fourteen other winners of the France Footbal award have passedl, prior to the World Cup, and none has finished as world champion.
The one who was closest to him was Roberto Baggio, in the United States in 1994, and it was also the cruelest ending. The Italian striker had the last kick of the match in his boots, the one that went over Taffarel’s goal. His 1993 Ballon d’Or was not signed with the title, like that of the other four World Cup finalists who arrived with the award under their arms.
Giani Rivera, in 1970, Johann Cruyff, in 1974, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, in 1982, and Ronaldo Nazario, in 1998 they stayed one last victory away from making the dream double. But Rivera found himself with Pelé’s Brazil in the final, Cruyff with the implacable Germany of the 1970s, Rummenigge with Italy touched by the wand of 1982, and Ronaldo with the most difficult game of his life in Paris.
Up to the semifinals came Michel Platini, who won his third Ballon d’Or in 1985 and the following year, in Mexico, fell in the penultimate round against Germany. Further behind were Florian Albert with Hungary in 1966, Michael Owen, with England in 2022, Ronaldinho, with Brazil in 2006, and Leo Messi, with Argentina in 2010. They all failed in the quarterfinals.
Karim Benzema spoke about his injury: “I must think about the team as I always have”
France falls apart: Karim Benzema will also miss the Qatar 2022 World Cup