OFFICIAL: Benzema, Mbappe top the list as France announce squad for title defence in Qatar

Karim Benzema and Kylian Mbappe headline France head coach Didier Deschamps’ squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Benzema’s fitness is not a worry to France staff despite the forward missing Real Madrid’s final games before the World Cup due to muscular fatigue.

William Saliba, Ibrahima Konate and Raphael Varane have all been included in the France squad for the Qatar World Cup. However, Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has missed out on a place in Didier Deschamps’ selection. 

Managers are naming their final 26-man squads for the winter tournament, which begins on November 20. Reigning champions France have typically taken a strong team with a couple of high-profile stars excluded. 

There are only five Premier League players picked by Deschamps. Tottenham and West Ham goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Alphonse Areola are in the squad. 

Arsenal’s Saliba, Liverpool’s Konate and Man Utd’s Varane provide plenty of strength at centre-back. There is no place for the Red Devils attacker Martial, with Deschamps able to call upon plenty of World Cup talent in forward areas. 

Martial started pre-season as Erik ten Hag’s first-choice striker but picked up an unfortunate Achilles injury just before the start of the Premier League campaign. The 26-year-old has started just once in the top-flight and has scored twice – with both strikes coming in the 6-3 Manchester derby defeat

Nor is there a position for former United midfielder Paul Pogba. The 29-year-old, who scored in the 2018 final triumph over Croatia, announced last week that he would not play in Qatar due to an ongoing thigh problem, which has plagued his start to life with Juventus. 

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