France confirm 25-man World Cup squad2 min read
Raphael Varane and Ibrahima Konate have both been included in the France squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The former had initially been a serious doubt for the tournament after sustaining a thigh injury in Manchester United’s Premier League draw with Chelsea last month.
Varane is not expected to play for the Red Devils again before the World Cup break, but he has been declared fit to link up with the reigning champions in a major boost to Didier Deschamps’s defensive ranks.
Jules Kounde, Benjamin Pavard and Dayot Upamecano will also compete for spots in the backline, but left-backs Ferland Mendy and Lucas Digne have not made the cut.
Injuries to Paul Pogba, Corentin Tolisso and N’Golo Kante means that the Bleus midfield has a much different look about it compared to the 2018 World Cup, with Adrien Rabiot, Youssouf Fofana, Aurelien Tchouameni, Matteo Guendouzi, Jordan Veretout and Eduardo Camavinga all set for their World Cup debuts.
Up front, there were small concerns over the fitness of Ballon d’Or holder Karim Benzema, who missed Real Madrid’s recent clash with Rayo Vallecano due to fatigue in his left thigh.
Benzema is not expected to feature against Cadiz on Thursday night either, but he nevertheless makes the 25-man squad after being absent for Les Bleus’ triumph in Russia four years ago.
FRANCE 2022 WORLD CUP SQUAD IN FULL:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Steve Mandanda (Rennes)
Defenders: Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Manchester United), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), William Saliba (Arsenal), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (Milan), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich)
Midfielders: Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Jordan Veretout (Marseille), Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid)
Attackers: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich)