Many have spoken in recent hours about the disdain of coach Didier Deschamps for Karim Benzema and his opposition to the French striker joining the team to play in the final.
Also on the idea of the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, to travel to Qatar accompanied not only by Karim Benzema but also by the injured Pogba or Kanté.
However, there is a reason that goes beyond purely football and for which French fans cross their fingers for not seeing the Real Madrid player at the Lusail stadium. And it is that they fear that a prophecy that remains unchanged over the years will come true again.
On November 19, the French team suffered a severe blow. Karim Benzema was officially left out of the World Cup in Qatar 2022. However, despite this, the Madrid striker could be world champion and pocket a not inconsiderable bonus. The reason? Benzemá has not been substituted and is part of the official squad list.
A champion without minutes
The Frenchman is listed on the match sheets, since Didier Deschamps did not call another player in his place . This has been verified in the file that the French Football Federation has delivered to FIFA in recent matches. That is why even if he did not play for a single minute, FIFA would consider Benzema to be part of the French team and consequently, he would be recognized as world champion.
But also, if Deschamps’ team manages to win the World Cup, Karim will receive 400,000 euros, according to the French media .
A sufficient prize for the gala fans who do not want to risk the title with their presence . And it is that the “curse of the golden ball” continues to weigh heavily on World Cup history.
No player who has reached the World Cup as a “Golden Ball” has managed to win the title of World Champion.An analysis carried out by Mister Chip shows the list of players who reached a World Cup as Golden Balls and their subsequent performance in the World Cup:
- Alfredo Di Stefano took the Ballon d’Or to the 1958 World Cup and could not dispute it . The champion was Brazil.
- Omar Sívori , an Argentine naturalized Italian, reached the 62 World Cup as the Ballon d’Or and Italy fell in the group stage. The champion was Brazil.
- Eusebio reached the 1966 World Cup as the Ballon d’Or. Portugal reached the semifinals and the champion was England.
- Gianni Rivera was the Ballon d’Or in 1969. He arrived at the 1970 World Cup as current winner and with Italy he was runner-up. The champion was Brazil.
- Johan Cruyff was the runner-up in the 74 World Cup after winning the Ballon d’Or. The champion was Germany.
- Alan Simonsen took the Ballon d’Or during the 78 World Cup, in which he could not participate with Denmark and which Argentina ended up winning.
- Rummenigge was Ballon d’Or during the 1982 World Cup in Spain and was runner-up with Germany . The champion in that World Cup was Italy.
- Platini reached the semifinals of the 86 World Cup after having won the award. The champion was Argentina.
- Van Basten was the Ballon d’Or during the 1990 World Cup in Italy, in which the Netherlands reached the round of 16 and Germany won the title.
- Roberto Baggio arrived at the World Cup in the United States 94 with the award and Italy was runner -up . The champion was Brazil.
- Ronaldo was the Ballon d’Or during the 98 World Cup, but Brazil lost in the final to France.
- Michael Owen won the award at the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, although England stayed in the quarterfinals and the champion was Brazil.
- Ronaldinho, Ballon d’Or winner at the 2006 World Cup, fell in the quarterfinals with Brazil. The champion was Italy.
- Messi was the Ballon d’Or during the 2010 World Cup that Spain ended up winning. Argentina was knocked out in the quarterfinals .
- In the last World Cup events, Cristiano Ronaldo arrived as the Ballon d’Or (2014 and 2018). In 2014, Portugal did not go beyond the group stage -with Germany as champion-, while in 2018 the Portuguese fell in the round of 16 -France was the champion-.
With these data on the table, the French are clear that they do not want the presence of their brand new Ballon d’Or to revive the curse.