Defending champions France will be without star striker Karim Benzema at the World Cup in Qatar.

The 34-year-old is out due to an injury in his left thigh, as the French association announced on Saturday evening after investigations.

Benzema had previously felt a sharp pain during training in Doha and had to abandon the session. The Real Madrid attacker is said to have injured his quadriceps and will now be out for three weeks.

“I’m extremely sad for Karim, who made this World Cup a big goal,” said national team coach Didier Deschamps in a statement from the association. “Despite this renewed setback for the French team, I have full confidence in my team. We will do everything to meet the immense challenge that awaits us,” added Deschamps.

The French start the tournament against Australia on Tuesday. Other preliminary round opponents for the French are Denmark on November 26th and Tunisia on November 30th.