France defender Lucas Hernandez has been ruled out of the 2022 World Cup with an anterior cruciate ligament rupture suffered in his team’s 4-1 Group D win over Australia.
Hernandez went down clutching his right knee just moments before Craig Goodwin put the Socceroos ahead in the first-half, before being helped off the pitch.
And after undergoing an MRI scan at the Aspetar clinic in Doha, the prognosis was a serious one, and puts him out of the rest of the competition.
“Like the whole group, players and staff, I am extremely sorry for Lucas,” said France boss Didier Deschamps.
“We are losing an important element.
“Lucas is a warrior and I have no doubt that he will do everything possible to return to the top of the game. I know him well: he’ll have courage, that’s for sure.
“On behalf of the group, I wish him the best possible recovery.”
France, despite going behind, recovered to win heavily thanks to goals from Adrien Rabiot, Kylian Mbappe and a brace from Olivier Giroud.
Giroud’s strikes meant he equalled Thierry Henry’s all-time scoring record for France of 51 goals.
But it was Mbappe who caught the eye throughout, the Paris Saint-Germain forward tormenting his opponents and underlying his claims of being – arguably – the world’s best player on current form.
BBC pundits Didier Drogba and Vincent Kompany spoke about his display following the game, with the former reckoning Mbappe will try and win the Champions League with PSG before a big-money transfer.
In Tuesday’s other Group D tie, Denmark were held to a 0-0 draw by Tunisia, which saw more VAR drama late on.