Didier Deschamps keeps faith with majority of France World Cup winning squad for Nations League as Dimitri Payet, Alexandre Lacazette and Anthony Martial all miss out
- Didier Deschamps keeps faith with almost all of France’s World Cup winners
- Injured goalkeeper Steve Mandanda is replaced by Benoit Costil in only change
- France face Germany away on September 6 before hosting the Netherlands
- Dimitri Payet, Alexandre Lacazette and Anthony Martial among those left out
With the exception of goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, who is injured, and has been replaced by Benoit Costil, Deschamps named an unchanged 23-man squad from the tournament in Russia.
France is away to Germany on September 6 and then hosts the Netherlands three days later at Stade de France.
France boss Didier Deschamps kept faith with his World Cup squad for the upcoming games
France were crowned World Cup winners last month after beating Croatia in the final
‘For me it’s logical. Steve would also have been here if he wasn’t injured,’ Deschamps said on Thursday. ‘This doesn’t mean the team won’t change. Things can also change over the next few games.’
Veteran Adil Rami was a surprise choice, having announced his international retirement after France beat Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final on July 15.
‘He didn’t hesitate for one second,’ Deschamps said, explaining that the 32-year-old center half changed his mind when asked to come back. ‘He’s still at an age where he’s competitive.’
Marseille playmaker Dimitri Payet was among those who were left out of the squad
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Benoit Costil (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain).
Defenders: Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Adil Rami (Marseille), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City), Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid).
Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla).
Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Florian Thauvin (Marseille), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid).
Marseille playmaker Dimitri Payet, however, was left out.
Payet, who was among France’s best players at the European Championship two years ago, missed the World Cup after injuring a thigh in the Europa League final.
‘The door’s not shut for Dimitri,’ Deschamps said, offering encouragement.
‘Dimitri was very important for us during Euro 2016 … I’m sure he’s still very attached to the France jersey.’
Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette and Manchester United’s Anthony Martial have also not been included in the squad.
Deschamps warned his players about getting carried away by their newfound status as World Cup champions.
‘Nothing beats winning the World Cup. France has a status (so) beating France now carries more weight,’ Deschamps said.
‘We have to maintain these high demands. If anything, we have more obligations now, because the expectation level is going to be higher. People will look at (the players) in a different way.’