France's hopes of sneaking past a few favourites to lift their second FIFA World Cup title was dealt a severe blow with coach Didier Deschamps confirming the loss of his biggest star.
The French are not seen as one of the favourites for the World Cup 2014 crown in Brazil, but, especially with a relatively easy group, they were thought to be capable of at least reaching the quarterfinals, with their individual brilliance coupled with the team ethos enforced by Deschamps possibly taking them farther.
However, one of those individuals capable of making something out of nothing will take no part in this year's World Cup, with Franck Ribery ruled out of the tournament with a back injury.
Ribery, who was part of that infamous walkout at the last World Cup but had improved his international performances considerably, had been undergoing training on his own in an attempt to recover from the back problem, but the worst was confirmed when the Bayern Munich winger felt pain during his first training session with the rest of the squad.
"[Ribery] stopped with a strong pain," Deschamps told French Football Federation's official website.
"He had tests early in the afternoon [Friday] which unfortunately confirmed the severity of the situation, that he will be unavailable for several weeks."
Joining Ribery on the sidelines is Lyon's Clement Grenier, who was also ruled out of the World Cup with a groin injury, making it three players that Deschamps has had to replace from his final squad after goalkeeper Steve Mandanda also saw his dreams of playing in the World Cup in Brazil end.
"He had a groin problem with his club but he participated in the last match," Deschamps said. "He came with us and participated in the training sessions and in the match against Norway.
"On Wednesday he trained as normal, Thursday morning as well, but on Thursday afternoon in the game, he suffered a terrible blow and felt pain in his right adductor.
"He had an MRI scan, which unfortunately again confirmed he will be unavailable for several weeks. He will not be able to train or, evidently, to play."
Ribery and Grenier will be replaced by Montpellier playmaker Remy Cabella and Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin.
"We submitted to FIFA the two medical documents and we decided to call up Morgan Schneiderlin and Remy Cabella," Deschamps added.
"The two players were on the reserve list and they are similar to the two players who left us. You cannot copy them exactly but Morgan Schneiderlin is the player most in the profile of Clement Grenier, and Remy Cabella is the most in the profile of Franck Ribery."
France's hopes will now depend on their strong midfield, and the likes of Karim Benzema, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, who should get more game time following Ribery's injury, Mathieu Valbuena and Loic Remy.
Deschamps' men are in Group E with Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras.