France’s 2014 FIFA World Cup journey just got a little tougher.
The team announced on Friday afternoon that attacker Franck Ribery will miss the entire competition due to a back injury.
Ribery had missed the team’s previous two exhibition games against Norway and Paraguay but looked to get back onto the field for Sunday’s game against Jamaica. He attempted to push himself during Friday’s practice, but it became apparent that he would not be able to suit up for both the upcoming game and tournament.
“Franck had felt a lot better but his situation got much worse as we started to try and get him to take part in collective training,” said French coach Didi Deschamps. “He is unable to train for a few weeks now and even less so to play.”
Deschamps decided to replace Ribery with attacking midfielder Remy Cabella. Ribery might be replaced on the field, but it will be tough for the French squad to duplicate his international success. In 81 games, Ribery has scored 16 goals. Cabella has just played in one game for France, coming in as a substitute.
To make matters worse, midfielder Clement Grenier will also sit out the World Cup due to a nagging groin injury. Deschamps is obviously saddened by injuries, but is still hoping for the best come cup time.
“We have to remain ambitious,” Deschamps said. “Obviously with Ribery at 100 percent we’re a better team, but we’ll try and be a good team without him.”
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