For his first list after the World Cup in Qatar, Didier Deschamps summoned eighteen players already present in the emirate, as well as Wesley Fofana, Khéphren Thuram and Brice Samba. >
They had left the heartbreak of the World Cup final. Three months after seeing Lionel Messi Argentina raise the trophy before their eyes in the Lusail stadium, in Qatar, the players of the French football team will meet. At least, a good part of them.
The coach of the Blues, Didier Deschamps, unveiled on Thursday March 16, the list of 23 players selected to face the Netherlands and go to Ireland – respectively on March 24 and 27 – on the occasion of the first games of qualifications for Euro 2024. In addition to the Kylian Mbappé regulars, Antoine Griezmann or Olivier Giroud, the Basque technician called three novices, including Khéphren Thuram and Wesley Fofana.
“These two back -to -school games are going to be strong in the entrance,” said the coach at the group’s announcement press conference. A quarter -finalist in Qatar, the Oranje were eliminated on penalties by Argentina, future world champion, and will be keen to make an impression immediately in a group raised. Also, the tricolor technician has chosen to stack with eighteen from the twenty-five “globalists”, to ensure the continuity of the team. “Nothing is frozen, he insisted, however. It was necessary to make choices, but no one is condemned.”
For this new adventure, “DD”, extended in early January at its post until July 2026 -year of the next World Cup, co -organized by the United States, Mexico and Canada -, had to compose without many of the executives, Sacred world champions in Russia, in 2018, then finalists of the last edition, in Qatar in 2022.
Guardian and captain of the Blues, Hugo Lloris, 36, announced his international retirement in early January, followed by his lining, Steve Mandanda, 37 years old. Had followed the vice-captain and central defender Raphaël Varane, only 29 years old. “There is a time when you have to know how to pass the hand,” justified the first, record holder of the number of capes in the French team (145).
“Sports logic” and need to prepare the future
“With the cessation of the international career of several players, the group was led to be rejuvenated,” admitted Didier Deschamps, insisting both on the “sports logic” and on the need “to prepare the medium term”. To make up for these departures, he renewed his workforce, calling for three neophytes in selection: the Lensois goalkeeper Brice Samba, the defender of Chelsea Wesley Fofana and the Middle of the OGC Nice, Khéphren Thuram.
If, at the post of goalkeeper, the Milanese Mike Maignan – absent from the World Cup due to an injury – leaves with a step ahead to succeed Hugo Lloris, a new hierarchy must take shape in the cages, where the there is no shortage of value candidates.