Football: Know all about France's 23-man World Cup squad
France manager Didier Deschamps announced a 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia from June 14 onwards. Although the squad has a lot of character and strength, there were many notable names who missed out. Further, the selection of players that haven't played much in 2017-18 has been quite perplexing. Here's all about the France's squad.
Anthony Martial has scored 11 in 44 appearances for Manchester United in 2017-18, and was a shocking omission. Same goes for in-form Alexandre Lacazette, who netted 17 goals in 38 games for the Gunners. This has got the fans on social media throw the ire on Deschamps with several of them clearly unhappy. Deschamps stated that the duo weren't good enough for France.
Dembele was injured throughout the season and had a horrible campaign for Barcelona even when he played. Yet the player got the nod that left many fans baffled. Four goals for Barca in 2017-18, besides making two outings for France (2018) don't seem good enough. Same goes for Benjamin Mendy, who only made seven appearances for Man City in Premier League.
The inclusion of Sevilla's Steven N'Zonzi gives France the added edge in dictating terms in midfield. Deschamps is likely to opt for a 4-3-3 formation and the presence of N'Golo Kante and Paul Pogba makes it a dream midfield trio. The experience of Blaise Matuidi is helpful, besides the dynamism of Corentin Tolisso. That makes France deadly in the centre of the pitch.
Antoine Griezmann will lead France in attack. The Atletico Madrid talisman netted 29 goals in 48 appearances this season. He will be given company by the versatile Kylian Mbappe and the likes of Lyon's Nabil Fekir. Both Mbappe and Fekir look like solid options to provide the threat. With Olivier Giroud and Florian Thauvin in the mix, there is enough experience.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Alphonse Areola. Defenders: Lucas Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Benjamin Mendy, Benjamin Pavard, Adil Rami, Djibril Sidibe, Samuel Umtiti, Raphael Varane. Midfielders: N'Golo Kante, Blaise Matuidi, Steven N'Zonzi, Paul Pogba, Corentin Tolisso. Forwards: Ousmane Dembele, Nabil Fekir, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Lemar, Kylian Mbappe, Florian Thauvin.