World Cup injuries 2022 tracker: List of players injured at Qatar finals as Kylian Mbappe and Declan Rice miss training

By | December 8, 2022

The 2022 FIFA World Cup is the first to be held in the months of November and December, and the timing is already having an impact on the participating teams.

Due to the intense summer heat in host nation Qatar, the World Cup had to be moved from the usual June-July window. While the scheduling change will make for better playing conditions for the players, it has also posed a challenge for a number of squads.

Since the World Cup tournament falls smack in the middle of the European club season, rather than during the off-season which has been customary, it means any players injured in the weeks leading up to the World Cup are in danger of missing the tournament.

In past editions, these players had several weeks to recover prior to the tournament’s kickoff, but this time around there is precious little time between the break from club play (November 14) and the start of the World Cup on Sunday, November 20.

MORE: Why is the 2022 World Cup being played in November?

World Cup injuries 2022

There are a significant number of injuries to track as the 2022 FIFA World Cup gets underway. These are some of the biggest names who will miss the tournament in Qatar, or have been ruled out during play:

  • Karim Benzema (France)
  • Lucas Hernandez (France)
  • Presnel Kimpembe (France)
  • Paul Pogba (France)
  • N’Golo Kante (France)
  • Mike Maignan (France)
  • Christopher Nkunku (France)
  • Sadio Mane (Senegal)
  • Diogo Jota (Portugal)
  • Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands)
  • Diego Carlos (Brazil)
  • Arthur Melo (Brazil)
  • Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)
  • Alex Telles (Brazil)
  • Ben Chilwell (England)
  • Reece James (England)
  • Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina)
  • Nicolas Gonzalez (Argentina)
  • Joaquin Correa (Argentina)
  • Amine Harit (Morocco)

And here are the most high-profile injury situations we’re monitoring closely:

  • Angel Di Maria (Argentina)
  • Rodrigo De Paul (Argentina)
  • Neymar (Brazil)
  • Danilo (Brazil)
  • Alex Telles (Brazil)
  • Memphis Depay (Netherlands)
  • James Maddison (England)
  • Declan Rice (England)
  • Danilo Pereira (Portugal)
  • Nuno Mendes (Portugal)
  • Nayef Aguerd (Morocco)
  • Sofiane Boufal (Morocco)

We’re tracking every team’s most problematic injury situations below, with consistent updates as the tournaments progresses (countries listed in alphabetical order).

Note: Teams eliminated in the group stage and no longer competing in the tournament have subsequently been removed from the injury tracker.

Argentina injuries World Cup 2022

Rodrigo De Paul: The Atletico Madrid midfielder did not train because of a hamstring injury on December 7 – two days before the quarterfinal against the Netherlands – but he is expected to be declared fit in time to play.

Angel Di Maria: The aging Juventus winger picked up a thigh injury in the final group stage match and was an unused substitute in the Round of 16 against Australia. He has returned to training and trained alongside many of the likely starting players ahead of the quarterfinal against the Netherlands, but there are questions whether he will be fit to start or just come off the bench.

Paulo Dybala: He suffered a torn hamstring on October 9 while taking and scoring a penalty. It looked initially unlikely that he would be available for the World Cup, but he has recovered in time and is on the roster. He has been a bench option throughout the tournament.

Giovani Lo Celso: The midfielder suffered a torn quad on October 30 while playing for Villarreal. Parent club Tottenham want him to undergo surgery and he has missed out on Qatar.

Other injuries: 

  • Nico Gonzalez (muscle): Missed Fiorentina’s last four matches, replaced on the roster by Angel Correa.
  • Joaquin Correa (knee): Injured in the pre-tournament friendly against UAE, replaced on the roster by Thiago Almada.
  • Juan Foyth (undisclosed): Lo Celso’s teammate at Villarreal has been out since Aug. 28 but he has since returned to action and was named to the squad.
  • Leandro Paredes (quad): Out since Oct. 21 but he also made the final cut for Qatar.
  • Cristian Romero (hamstring): Missed last five club games, was named in the squad but left out of warm-up match vs. UAE. Started the stunning defeat to Saudi Arabia but was substituted after 59 minutes. 
  • Alejandro ‘Papu’ Gomez (undisclosed): Not in the squad for UAE warm-up match, and part of the group of players Scaloni admits are not 100% fit.

MORE: Argentina’s final 26-man World Cup squad

Brazil injuries World Cup 2022

Gabriel Jesus: The Arsenal forward was examined by Brazil’s medical team following the defeat to Cameroon and will be out for a month, according to Globo, which would rule him out of the rest of the finals. Additional reports from the Daily Express, via sources in Brazil, confirmed Jesus has undergone surgery on his knee, and could be sidelined for three months, in a major blow to Arsenal’s Premier League title challenge.

Alex Telles: Hobbled off during Brazil’s final group game against Cameroon, having coming in as a replacement for the injured Alex Sandro.The Manchester United leftback needs knee surgery and will miss the rest of the finals. 

Neymar: The forward was the victim of a rough tackle that caught his right ankle and had to come off in the 2-0 win over Serbia. Post-match images showed his ankle swelling up immediately with later scans confirming the injury. 

The following day, Brazil’s team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told Globo “scans show a lateral ligament injury on Neymar’s right ankle, along with a small bone swelling”. He was subsequently ruled out of the final two group games.

Neymar returned to score in Brazil’s 4-1 win over South Korea in the Round of 16.

Danilo: The experienced rightback impressed in the Serbia game but sustained a medial ligament injury in his left ankle. Sat out the remaining Group G games against Switzerland and Cameroon but returned against South Korea.

Antony: The Manchester United newcomer reportedly suffered a bout of illness that forced him to miss training two days of training before Brazil’s game against Switzerland on November 28, remaining an unused substitute against South Korea. Goalkeeper Alisson and midfielder Lucas Paqueta were also affected but rejoined the group after a day.

Bremer: The Juventus center-back was withdrawn from club action on October 15 with a quad injury, but returned to availability in early November and was selected for the final roster.

Alex Sandro: Juventus defender Sandro did not play against Cameroon or South Korea after suffering a hip injury against Switzerland.

Other injuries: 

  • Diego Carlos (ACL tear): Out for World Cup.
  • Arthur Melo (thigh injury): Out for World Cup.
  • Lucas Verissimo (ACL tear): He suffered the injury on Nov. 2021, and returned Oct. 22 to Liga 2 action. But he did not make the final cut.

MORE: Brazil’s final squad for World Cup 2022

Croatia injuries World Cup 2022

Marcelo Brozovic: Out since mid-September with a hamstring injury, Brozovic returned to club action with Inter just in time, playing a handful of minutes in the November 6 Derby d’Italia against Juventus. In a massive boost for the 2018 runners-up, Brozovic played every minute of the opener against Morocco. 

Nikola Vlasic: West Ham schemer Vlasic, currently on loan at Torino, was withdrawn at half time in Croatia’s 0-0 draw with Morocco and was sidelined for the subsequent match against Canada. 

Mateo Kovacic: The Chelsea midfielder suffered a facial injury during a gym session, after the Round of 16 win over Japan, but he is expected to be OK to start against Brazil.

Other injuries: 

  • Domagoj Vida (muscle injury): Missed club match on Nov. 6, and his status is unknown. He has, though, been named in the final squad and was an unused substitute in the Round of 16 win over Japan.

MORE: Croatia final 26-man roster for World Cup 2022

England injuries for World Cup 2022

Reece James: One of the most devastating injuries for any team at the World Cup involves England full-back Reece James, who was in fantastic form with Chelsea before he suffered a knee injury against Wolves on October 8. There was some debate that he may still be included in Gareth Southgate’s squad, but it was confirmed on November 9 he will not make the tournament.

Kyle Walker: Another critical England defender struggling for fitness is Kyle Walker who has been missing with a groin injury since October 2. He still made the squad though with Southgate confident he can have a part to play despite – despite ruling him out for the Iran and USA fixtures. 

Kalvin Phillips: The midfielder hasn’t started a game for City this season having battled to return from a shoulder injury. However, having made his comeback in recent weeks, he too made the 26-man squad.

James Maddison: Having forced his way back into the England reckoning at just the right time, Leicester City star Maddison went down in the first half of the Foxes’ Premier League game at West Ham on November 12 and had to be substituted, having earlier given his side the lead. He later tweeted to say the problem wasn’t serious and returned as a substitute after missing both of England first two matches at the finals.

Harry Maguire: The big defender who got an assist in England’s opening game win over Iran was taken off early, with Gareth Southgate telling reporters he was suffering from illness. However, the Man United defender recovered quickly and impressed against USA. 

Harry Kane: England’s captain was removed from the World Cup-opening victory over Iran in the 76th minute with an ankle problem. However, he has not misssed a game at these finals.

Ben White: The defender, who hasn’t yet played a game at the World Cup, left the England camp on November 30 to return home for personal reasons. He is not expected to be back for the rest of the tournament.

Raheem Sterling: Returned to England before the Three Lions’ Round of 16 win over Senegal on December 5 to be with his family following an incident involving armed criminals at their home. However, the FA announced he would be heading back to Qatar on December 9 and is expected to be available to face France.

Callum Wilson: The Newcastle United striker missed training on December 5 and 6 with a minor muscle strain.

Declan Rice: West Ham United midfielder Rice started all of England’s first four matches at the finals but missed training on December 6 because of illness.

John Stones: Man City defender Stones came off in the closing stages of the 3-0 win over Senegal, due to tight hamstring, and Southgate will update fans on his status ahead of the France game.

Other injuries: 

  • Ben Chilwell (hamstring injury): Out of World Cup.
  • Emile Smith Rowe (groin surgery on Sept. 29): Out of World Cup.

MORE: Final England squad for World Cup 2022

France injuries World Cup 2022

N’Golo Kante: The Chelsea midfielder has been injury prone his whole career, and succumbed to a hamstring issue early in the Premier League season. He’s been out since mid-August and was ruled out of the World Cup a number of weeks before the tournament.

Paul Pogba: A knee injury in pre-season kept Pogba out of action for Juventus all season, and while it was thought he could recover in time for the World Cup, he suffered a thigh injury during his recovery, ruling him out of the World Cup. It’s a brutal blow to France, who will be missing both their starting midfielders in Qatar.

Mike Maignan: Outside of Pogba and Kante, Maignan is the biggest miss for France due to the calf injury that has had him out of action since October 1. He was ruled out of club action through the new year by AC Milan head coach Stefano Pioli. Maignan had a breakout season in 2021/22 and was a big reason the Rossoneri won the Serie A title.

Presnel Kimpembe: Originally called up to the squad, the PSG defender did not feel fully recovered from injury and so will not be at the World Cup. His place was taken by uncapped Monaco centre-back Axel Disasi.

Lucas Hernandez: Out for most of September and all of October with an adductor tear, Lucas Hernandez returned to fitness just in time for the World Cup. However, only nine minutes into the opening game against Australia Hernandez went down clutching his leg in severe pain. He has been ruled-out of the rest of the tournament with an ACL rupture. 

Raphael Varane: The Man United defender came off in tears in late October and missed the rest of the Red Devils’ slate before the World Cup break, but was called up by France manager Didier Deschamps and trained before the first match.

Karim Benzema: The Ballon d’Or winner left France training after 15 minutes just a week before the start of his country’s campaign, according to RMC, which said that the prolific striker has been suffering from a muscular problem but did not appear unduly concerned by the situation.

On November 19, France confirmed that Benzema would play no part in the tournament because of a thigh injury. Didier Deschamps decided against calling up a replacement for the Real Madrid striker with Les Bleus sticking with a 25-man squad in Qatar.

Christopher Nkunku: The Leipzig attacker has been withdrawn from France’s World Cup squad after picking up a knee injury during training. Subsequent scans confirmed a sprain which will keep him sidelined throughout the tournament in Qatar with Randal Kolo Muani replacing him in the squad.

Eduardo Camavinga: There was a report on Sunday that the Real Madrid midfielder suffered an adductor injury in training. There’s no official word, but the report indicated it “wasn’t serious.” One to monitor given how thin the France midfield already is.

Kylian Mbappe: After scoring five goals at the finals to move top of the scoring charts, Mbappe missed open France training on December 6 to carry out a separate recovery session but all indications are that he’ll be fit for the quarterfinals. 

Other injuries: 

  • Lucas Digne (ankle): Returned to action with Aston Villa Oct. 29, and fit for selection, but he was not picked by Deschamps.
  • Boubacar Kamara (knee ligament): Initially though to be out, but reportedly recovering faster than expected. He didn’t make it in time and was left off the roster.
  • Jules Kounde (muscle knock): He missed FC Barcelona’s last two matches on Nov. 5 and Nov. 8, but Deschamps named him to his squad and brought him on as a substitute during the opening match. 

MORE: France’s final World Cup squad for Qatar

Morocco injuries World Cup 2022

Yassine Bounou: The Sevilla goalkeeper – known as Bono – was selected to start and sang the national anthem on the pitch with his teammates before Morocco’s game against Belgium, only to be replaced by Munir El Kajoui shortly before kickoff.

It’s unclear what happened, but he was seen speaking to the referee and his manager while appearing to point at one of his eyes, while his bent-over nature also suggested he was feeling ill.

Returned and played a heroic part in the Round of 16 win on penalties over Spain.

Achraf Hakimi played every minute against Croatia but complained of a thigh problem post-match. Morocco’s medical team revealed the injury was not serious and he has since returned, scoring the decisive penalty against Spain.

Noussair Mazraoui: Bayern Munich left-back Noussair Mazraoui signalled for treatment and was helped off on a stretcher after an hour of his side’s opening game against Croatia on November 23. Ruled-out for Belgium match but has since returned.

Youssef En-Nesyri: A key member of the Morocco attack is a worry as En-Nesyri missed two matches with a hamstring injury and then came off the bench in the Seville derby against Real Betis on Nov. 6.

He’s yet to score a goal in La Liga this season and is generally in poor form with the rest of his club team, but his talent ensured that he was named in the final squad. Played 80 minutes against Croatia. 

Amine Harit: Marseille forward Harit was stretchered off the pitch during his side’s 3-2 win at Monaco in Ligue 1 on November 13. He was subsequently ruled out of the World Cup on November 16 with Burnley winger Anass Zaroury brought in as his replacement.

Nayef Aguerd: The centre-back has barely featured for new club West Ham because of injury and there was more bad news for the Premier League side and Morocco when he hobbled off during the latter stages of normal time in the Round of 16 game against Spain on December 6, being replaced by Jawad El Yamiq.

Sofiane Boufal: The midfielder signalled to the Morocco coaching staff to be substituted during the second half of the game with Spain. Abde Ezzalzouli took his place.

Other injuries: 

  • Ez Abde (muscle): Out since Oct. 23 and did not make the squad.
  • Tarik Tissoudali (ACL tear): Out since July 30 and confirmed out for World Cup.

Netherlands injuries World Cup 2022

Memphis Depay: Depay has been struggling for fitness since he was injured on international duty in September, but told reporters he was fit to play. Manager Louis Van Gaal opted to start him on the bench in their opener against Senegal, where he came on to help secure a 2-0 win.

Georginio Wijnaldum: After moving to Roma this past summer in the hopes of reviving his club career, he suffered a broken leg just 12 minutes into the season, and will miss the World Cup.

Frenkie de Jong: The Barcelona star was reportedly one of several players affected by a sore throat and cold after the Netherlands’ final group stage game.

Marten de Roon: De Jong’s fellow midfielder De Roon is also said to have been affected in an outbreak said to have been confirmed by Van Gaal. The report also claimed that De Jong and De Roon had laughed about the issue, with De Jong assuring reporters he would be ready for the Round of 16 match against the USA, in which both players duly started in central midfield.

MORE: Final Netherlands squad for World Cup 2022

Portugal injuries World Cup 2022

Cristiano Ronaldo: The captain trained individually and reportedly carried out recovery exercises following Portugal’s win over Uruguay but returned for the final group game against South Korea.

Danilo Pereira: The defender or midfielder was diagnosed with three broken ribs in hospital, suffering the injury during training ground defensive work that coach Fernando Santos suggested had been innocuous.

“It didn’t initially look like anything worrisome despite him having breathing difficulties,” said Santos, who was without the player when Portugal thrashed Switzerland in the Round of 16.

“I’m not a doctor – we have to wait. It’s a blow – it would be better if we can still count on him but we have three central defenders.”

Diogo Jota: The Liverpool forward returned from a hamstring injury in early October and looked bright, but cruelly suffered a calf injury just weeks later and will be out for the World Cup, thinning the strike options for Portugal behind Ronaldo.

Nuno Mendes: The PSG defender is a regular starter for the Portugal squad but missed out on the opening match against Ghana with a muscle injury picked up in training. He was forced off before half-time in the 2-0 win over Uruguay, after landing awkwardly and injuring his thigh, and his World Cup fitness looks to be a major concern.

Fresh reports from claim Mendes and Danilo will leave the Portugal and return to Paris for treatment, in a race to get them both back fit, ahead of facing Morocco in the quarterfinals.

Other injuries: 

  • Pedro Neto (ankle injury): Out since Oct. 1 and out of the World Cup.
  • Ricardo Pereira (Achilles tear): Out of World Cup.

MORE: Portugal’s final World Cup squad for Qatar