France announce World Cup 2022 squad: Varane called up and Deschamps will revert to 4-2-3-1

France coach Didier Deschamps has assured Raphael Varane, Presnel Kimpembe and Karim Benzema will be fit to start at the World Cup following recent injuries as Les Bleus go into defense of the trophy with a provisional 25-man squad.

The national coach, who announced his selection before holding a press conference to explain his decisions on TF1’s eight o’clock newscast on Wednesday night, intends to change his tactical approach in Qatar and abandon the latest experiment and return to the back four. with a rear guard of three men.

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He would instinctively have preferred to pick a 23-man squad, but with injuries to many of his players, he will take a large group to Qatar. Deschamps has previously insisted that all players going to a major tournament must play for their clubs in the build-up to the tournament, but Varanda, in particular, made an exception.

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This reflects the position of the capital in the national structure.

The 29-year-old has not featured since picking up an injury against Manchester United at Chelsea on October 22. Although he did not play for his club before joining the national team, there is optimism that he will train with Varane. his international teammates next week.

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Benzema has played just 27 minutes for Real Madrid since mid-October following a foot problem. There are concerns over the fitness of Kimpembe, who has started just one game for Paris Saint-Germain since September 10 and is troubled by an Achilles complaint. Kimpembe hopes to train at PSG on Thursday and has targeted game time in Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash against Auxerre.

Benzema after winning the Ballon d’Or last month (Image: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool centre-half Ibrahim Konate has bounced back despite only just returning to the first team at club level following a knee problem.

AC Milan goalkeeper Mike Meignan has not recovered from a calf problem – Rennes’ Steve Mandanda, 37, and West Ham United’s Alphonse Areoloa will deputize for Hugo Lloris, while Marseille’s Jonathan Klaus has been ruled out. and Aston Villa’s Lucas Digne reflects Deschamps’ decision to revert to a successful 4-2-3-1 in 2018 from his recent 3-4-1-2 formation.

“There will be four at the back,” said Deschamps. “We did a lot of analysis (of the last games), I had a lot of discussions with my staff and players. My decision was influenced by the sentiments expressed. We did some really good things in that system (with three at the back), but sometimes we struggled. Although we turned some bad situations around, we were often unbalanced. You need to be strong defensively to win the competition.

“We have to defend better, defend better, not at the expense of our attacking intent, but if I choose this formation, I think we can both work. The system gives players a variety of choices. The team has nine defenders — one more than usual.”

Asked about Konata’s inclusion, he added: “You don’t start at his age in a Liverpool team that just happened to be European champions.”

In his press conference, an emotional Deschamps admitted it was “not easy” to pick the squad, saying he had ruled out Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante, whose midfield partnership was crucial in Russia four years ago, due to injuries. .

Much of the focus will be on Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchuameni, who has proved himself to be a regular player in the absence of the experienced duo. His teenage club mate Eduardo Kamawinga has been reduced despite winning just one sack in the last two years.

“The lack of playing time against Eduardo is important, but he is at Real Madrid,” said Deschamps. “There is only international before him. There’s always something going on when he’s on the field. He doesn’t do everything well, he prefers some positions over others, but his versatility is an advantage. Add to that her great state of mind, she has an infectious smile and she’s a great listener.”

real madrid

Camavinga with Ancelotti at Real Madrid (Photo: Helios de la Rubia/Real Madrid via Getty Images)

There is a call-up for Marseille’s Jordan Veretout, who has yet to play a single minute for the national team in 2022, and his club mate Matteo Guenduzi, as well as Monaco’s promising midfielder Youssef Fofana. He formed a good partnership with Tchouameni at the Principality last season before his summer move to Madrid.

“I believe in these players,” Deschamps said. “You know what the two players without (Pogba and Kante) mean in terms of experience and leadership. Fortunately, in different meetings, these new players have had game time. It doesn’t give them the experience of Paul and NG, but I still believe in them.”

The French competition will be led by PSG players Kylian Mbappe and Benzema. Veteran AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud has been selected for his third World Cup, two goals short of Thierry Henry’s national record of 51.

The players will arrive at the national training base in Clairfontein, a suburb of Paris, at noon next Monday to begin their preparations. The French delegation flew to Doha on Wednesday morning and will be based at the Al Mesila complex on the outskirts of the capital, six days before the group’s first game. They will train for the first time on Thursday at Al Sadd Stadium, a 15-minute drive from the team hotel.

National teams must submit their final rosters to FIFA on Monday evening (November 14), but have the option to make changes up to 24 hours before the first match of the tournament if players are injured. This means further changes will be made by November 21, 24 hours before France’s opener against Australia.

(Photo: Lars Baron – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)


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