Payet suffers injury heartbreak in Europa League final with World Cup dreams in serious doubt

The playmaker had been struggling with a muscular complaint before the final and now could miss his chance to shine in Russia

Dimitri Payet faces the anguish of missing the World Cup finals after being forced out of Wednesday's Europa League decider through injury. 

Payet was given the captain's armband for Marseille against Atletico Madrid, and in the opening minutes played through Valere Germain with a lovely pass that was ultimately squandered. 

But after Antoine Griezmann struck to give Atletico the lead in the first half Marseille's woes were increased by injury to their skipper. 

The former West Ham man, who had been struggling with a thigh injury in the build-up to the final, went down on the half-hour mark in obvious pain. 

He was eventually helped to the sidelines with tears in his eyes as Maxime Lopez was brought on to replace him. 

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With less than a month to go before the World Cup kicks off in Russia, France will share Marseille's pain at losing the playmaker

Payet will have precious little time to recover if his muscular injury is confirmed as serious, meaning his participation in the upcoming finals is now in grave risk.

He would be the second France player in recent weeks to suffer such a setback against Atletic, after Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny ruptured his Achilles tendon during the Europa League semis.