Ahead of football’s biggest showpiece in two weeks, several footballers have been ruled out, including Germany’s Timo Werner and England’s Ben Chilwell, with Canada’s Alphonso Davies in doubt.
The German forward will not return to the World Cup stage after suffering an ankle injury during the first half of his team’s 4-0 win against Shakhtar Donetsk at the Champions League group-stage qualifiers.
Werner was substituted off early after being knocked in the ankle by Taras Stepanenko in the 13th minute of the match.
The 26-year-old confirmed his absence in a statement published on his social media accounts.
“A very tough one to take for me! I will be out for the next weeks, will miss the World Cup and will have to support @RBLeipzig and @DFB_Team from the couch unfortunately thanks for all your messages,” wrote the rising star.
Werner has been a tremendous assist to Germany as he struck 24 goals in the 55 appearances he has capped for his country.
Germany’s coach Hansi Flick expressed a heartfelt message for his player calling the news of the injury “extremely bitter.”
“I feel very bad for Timo personally because he will miss the World Cup which he desperately wanted to play in. Above all though, his absence is a big loss for the team. We all wish him a speedy recovery!” said Flick.
Representing Germany at the 2018 World Cup and UEFA Euro 2020, Niclas Fullkrug could be a possible replacement for Werner.
Three Lions chaos
England’s Gareth Southgate will be absent of another star player as Chelsea’s Ben Chilwell is the latest England player to become ruled out for the three lions.
Facing Stamford Bridge, Chilwell suffered significant damage to his hamstring, leaving the pitch with crutches.
“Following my ACL injury I worked so hard to make sure I was ready for the World Cup. It has always been a dream of mine,” Chilwell wrote on Twitter.
“Unfortunately, this won’t be possible following my scan results. I’ll do all I can to get back playing for Chelsea ASAP. Thanks for the messages of support.”
FIFA has responded to the news of Chilwell’s injury wishing the footballer a speedy recovery.
Chelsea has released a statement confirming the non-attendance of the 25-year-old.
“Following the injury sustained in our recent game against Dinamo Zagreb, Ben has undergone a scan on his hamstring. Results show that Ben has suffered a significant injury and the defender is unfortunately expected to miss the World Cup,” the club wrote on its website.
Dubbed to be Southgate’s leading left-back option, England will now scramble to find replacements for Chilwell as they race to retrieve Reece James, Kyle Walker, and Kalvin Phillips.
Rising star Alphonso Davies suffered a hamstring injury playing for Bayern Munich on Saturday.
The 22-year-old defender apparently pulled his injury fighting for the ball from Hertha Berlin’s Marco Richter.
With Canada’s World Cup campaign set to start in 17 days, Davies limped off the field was a nail-biter for Canadians returning to the tournament after 36 years.
However, a team diagnosis has confirmed Davies’s participation in the upcoming contest is not yet ruled out.
“FC Bayern will be without Alphonso Davies for the two remaining Bundesliga games prior to the winter break. The 22-year-old full-back suffered a hamstring strain in the 3-2 win at Hertha BSC on Saturday,” wrote Bayern Munich on it’s website.
“The diagnosis was confirmed by the German record champions’ medical unit. The Canada international’s participation in the World Cup in Qatar is not at risk.”