France have named their squad for the upcoming World Cup, and while it’s one that’s bursting with talent – there wasn’t room for everyone.
There’s no denying the quality of players at their disposal, but through a mixture of injuries and lack of space in the squad, Wide World of Sports has put together a team of French players who aren’t going to feature in Qatar.
The Socceroos will come into the World Cup as heavy underdogs when they play France, and while games aren’t played on paper, the financial differences are staggering.
READ MORE: Desperate Broncos dealt nightmare 2023 draw
READ MORE: ‘Devastated’ England defender ruled out
READ MORE: 2022 FIFA World Cup Socceroos Squad
READ MORE: Qatar responds to dark $2.3m World Cup accusation
Popular football finance website Transfermarkt values Aaron Mooy as Australia’s most-expensive player, giving him a transfer value of just under $8 million. For contrast, Kylian Mbappe is valued at $249 million.
Australia’s campaign will begin against the French in a fortnight’s time, a rematch of 2018’s group stage – although Paul Pogba, who scored the winning goal that day, won’t feature.
Pogba isn’t the only high-profle French star that will be sidelined, however – here’s a full XI, plus some substitutes.
Mike Maignan (AC Milan)
The 27-year-old has been outstanding in both Ligue 1 and now Serie A in recent years, but while there were hopes that he could overcome a calf injury that was suffered a few weeks ago, he’ll instead miss the tournament.
Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid)
Perhaps the most surprising omission by Didier Deschamps, the fullback is a near-permanent fixture for Real Madrid, including their win in the Champions League final back in May.
While Theo Hernandez’s form at left back can’t be ignored, you would have thought there would at least be room in the squad for Mendy, who cost his current team $75 million to sign from Lyon in 2019.
Nordi Mukiele (PSG)
France have taken a host of center backs to Qatar, but there was no room for the versatile 25-year-old, who is equally capable on both the right side or in the middle of defence.
Wesley Fofana (Chelsea)
Yet to make his debut for the senior national team, the center back cost Chelsea a cool $124 million when they bought him from Leicester two months ago, making him the third most-expensive defender ever behind Harry Maguire and Virgil van Dijk.
While Raphael Varane was afforded the luxury of being able to make his comeback from injury as the tournament progressed, Fofana was not given that chance and although he is thought to be fully recovered from a knee injury that he suffered in August, he will not feature .
Jonathan Clauss (Marseille)
Another victim potentially more of play style rather than form and ability, Clauss has been a consistent presence in France’s top league over the past couple of seasons, but doesn’t really fit into Deschamps’ philosophy, should he want to emulate 2018’s team building and techniques.
Paul Pogba (Juventus)
Pogba scored in the final five years’ ago and whatever you think about his club form for Manchester United in the meantime, he’s remained a permanent starter in the French midfield – only for a knee injury to prevent his plans of featuring this summer.
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Another superstar of the game, Kante is one of the most-beloved players in world football but will also miss out, after suffering a serious hamstring injury in August, which is expected to keep him out until January.
Nabil Fekir (Real Betis)
The 29-year-old was part of the squad in 2018, even coming on for the last few minutes in the final – but despite some excellent form in Spain for Real Betis over the past two years, he didn’t make the cut – even as rumors over an $88 million move to the Premier League continue to swirl.
France receive heroes welcome after Cup win
Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco)
He’s bagged plenty of goals in both Ligue 1 and Europe in the last couple of seasons, but once again finds himself on the outer, as he did in 2018 when he was only a standby player for the final squad.
Ben Yedder has played for Les Bleus 19 times, but now at age 32 has probably missed the chance to play at a World Cup.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United)
An immensely talent forward who has remained saddled with the heavy price tag that he brought to England with him, Martial has actually had a pretty bright start to the 2022-23 season, but not enough to factor in to Deschamps’ plans.
Like Ben Yedder, he was a standby player in 2018 – but still only 26, he will have another shot in 2026.
Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen)
The talented winger is another who is drawing the attention of top clubs in both England and Spain, but didn’t make the final cut here despite racking up nine caps since debuting last year.
Illan Meslier (Leeds), Lucas Digne (Aston Villa), Pierre Kalulu (AC Milan), Tanguy Ndombele (Napoli), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle), Boubacar Kamara (Aston Villa)
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here
The player to watch from each nation at the 2022 FIFA World Cup
#Scary #reason #124m #star #wont #face #Socceroos