French star Franck Ribery will miss World Cup with back injury
France star attacker Franck Ribery and midfielder Clement Grenier will miss the World Cup with injuries.
France's World Cup hopes suffered a major blow on Friday morning, when attacker Franck Ribery was ruled out of the competition due to a back injury.
Midfielder Clement Grenier will also miss the World Cup due to a thigh problem.
Remy Cabella and Morgan Schneiderlin have been called into the 23-man squad as replacements.
Ribery is one of the best wingers in the world, with more than 81 national team appearances under his belt. He scored 14 goals in all competitions for Bayern Munich this past season, and netted five goals for France during UEFA qualifying.
Because of his back issue, Ribery wasn't a lock to make the final roster, but France manager Didier Deschamps decided to take him despite the risk.
"[He] is a very important player for us," Deschamps told L'Equipe at the time. "He is the main player in our team and it is normal to talk about him. This is our best player, who can make the difference at any time and we really hope he will come back."
Without Ribery, Deschamps will have to rely more on the creativity of young attacker Antoine Griezmann, who has been a transfer target for some of Europe's biggest clubs recently. Griezmann scored 20 goals for Real Sociedad this past season. Cabella, who was brought up to replace Ribery, scored 14 goals for Montpellier in Ligue One action this season.
Grenier is a versatile midfielder for Lyon, but he also will not partake in the World Cup. Schneiderlin, who plays for Southampton, has made one national team appearance for France, a U-21 match back in 2011.
One player who would have been an ideal Ribery replacement is Samir Nasri, the Manchester City star who was controversially left out of the squad by Deschamps.
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