Devastated Cisse will miss World Cup with broken leg

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The Independent Football

Djibril Cissé, the France and Liverpool striker, will miss the World Cup after breaking his right leg in a 3-1 win over China last night. "He's undergoing surgery," Raymond Domenech, the France coach, said later. "It's a vicious blow to all of us."

The injury is believed to be a fracture of Cissé's fibula and shinbone. The Liverpool forward was hurt in Saint-Etienne in a clash with a Chinese defender in his team's final game before they travel today to Germany for the finals.

In the 10th minute, Cissé was chasing the ball down the right flank and was knocked off balance by a defender. As he fell, his right leg twisted under him and buckled above the ankle. Grimacing with pain, Cissé was taken away on a stretcher and received treatment on his right leg for several minutes before going to hospital.

He had been expected to start France's opening World Cup game against Switzerland in Stuttgart on Tuesday. Last night he was replaced in the game by David Trezeguet.

Cissé missed the European Championship finals two years ago through suspension. He was then sidelined for most of the 2004-2005 Premiership season after a double-break of his left leg in a match at Blackburn in October 2004.

A non-playing member of France's 2002 World Cup squad, Cissé was looking forward to featuring in a major tournament for the first time. His absence poses a major headache for Domenech. He needs to call up a replacement ­ but Nicolas Anelka and Ludovic Giuly both said they would not play for France, even in emergency. "Djibril's injury is the only thing that's worrying us right now," said Domenech. "It's a drama."

The injury is bound to affect Liverpool's summer transfer dealings because Cissé was almost certain to be sold.