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Qatar 2022: Defending champions France release their World Cup squad list

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By Martin Graham | 11th Nov 2022

On Wednesday evening, FIFA World Cup holders France have released their final 25 man squad for the World Cup. This is the squad that Didier Deschamps has chosen for their defence of the prestigious trophy later this month as the world will witness the first ever winter World Cup.

The squad consists of some of the key players that were pivotal in Le Blues’ road to glory four years ago in Russia as well as some new blood who will be heading to their first World Cup with the aim of etching their names in the history books. A second World Cup win in a row will see France become only the third nation to successfully defend the World Cup after Italy did it in 1934 & 1938 and Brazil in 1958 & 1962.

The France squad will not have the luxury of relying upon key midfield due, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante at the World Cup as they were ruled out due to injury. Both midfielders formed a solid partnership in the heart of France’s midfield during the World Cup and were instrumental to their success. Now that responsibility falls on the young shoulders of 20-year-old Eduardo Camavinga and 22-year-old Aurelien Tchouameni. The young Real Madrid stars look set to play a key role for their country in Qatar.

On the more experienced side is their Ballon d’Or winning teammate, Karim Benzema. The 34-year-old will be going to his first World Cup since 2014 as the current best player in the World and he will have a point to prove.

Unfortunately for Ferland Mendy, he will not be going to the World Cup as the Real Madrid fullback was not selected. Aston Villa’s Lucas Digne was also not selected for the World Cup.

Manchester United’s Raphael Varane has also been selected despite injury concerns while Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate and Arsenal’s William Saliba have been chosen to play in their first ever World Cup to round up the selections coming from the Premier League.

Bayern Munich trio, Benjami Pavard, Kingsley Coman and Dayot Upamecano have been selected along with RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku from the Bundesliga.

THE FRANCE SQUAD IN FULL

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Rennes)

Defenders: Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus Turin), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Jordan Veretout (Marseille).

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (FC Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Christopher Nkunku (Leipzig).

Le Blues begin their World Cup campaign on the 22nd of November against Australia.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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