Olivier Giroud is named in France’s World Cup squad amid AC Milan renaissance, while Raphael Varane is also picked despite fitness concerns – and joined by fellow Premier League defenders William Saliba and Ibrahima Konate
- Raphael Varane has been included in France’s World Cup squad
- He has been out in recent weeks with an injury but has still been picked
- Varane is joined in the squad by Ibrahima Konate and Arsenal’s William Saliba
Olivier Giroud was named in France’s provisional squad for the Qatar World Cup as coach Didier Deschamps unveiled a 25-man group on Wednesday amid injury concerns for the defending champions.
The experienced striker, recalled in March after a nine-month hiatus following the team’s early Euro 2021 exit, has been in good form for AC Milan and France and is two goals shy of Thierry Henry’s all-time national scoring record of 51 goals.
‘He knows where he stands. He knows what my position is. It’s better for the French team that he is with us,’ said Deschamps, who will have to trim his squad to 23 by Monday.
Olivier Giroud has made France’s World Cup squad after being left out following Euro 2021
Raphael Varane has also been named in France’s World Cup squad by Didier Deschamps
Several players have been struggling with injuries, including Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, Paris St Germain centre back Presnel Kimpembe and Manchester United defender Raphael Varane.
Varane’s fellow Premier League defenders William Saliba and Ibrahima Konate have also made the cut.
With Paul Pogba and Ngolo Kante injured and ruled out of the tournament ahead of the squad announcement, Aurelien Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot and Eduardo Camavinga were among the six midfielders named.
William Saliba has made the squad after a fine start to the season at Arsenal
Liverpool’s Ibrahima Konate has been included in Deschamps’ provisional squad
Up front, Kylian Mbappe was named along with Giroud, Benzema, Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann and Christopher Nkunku.
France will be in Group D in Qatar with Australia, Denmark and Tunisia.
They start their campaign against Australia on November 22 at the Al Janoub Stadium.
FRANCE WORLD CUP SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola, Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda
Defenders: Lucas Hernandez, Theo Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Ibrahima Konate, Jules Kounde, Benjamin Pavard, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Raphael Varane
Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga, Youssouf Fofana, Matteo Guendouzi, Adrien Rabiot, Aurelien Tchouameni, Jordan Veretout
Forwards: Karim Benzema, Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembele, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Christopher Nkunku
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