MX23RW : Wednesday, July 17 16:50:03| >> :120:6866:6866:

France Euro 2024 squad announced: Ex-Chelsea midfielder earns shock call-up

France Euro 2024 squad announced: Ex-Chelsea midfielder earns shock call-up
© Reuters
Former Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante is a surprise inclusion in France's 25-man squad for Euro 2024, but there is no room for Moussa Diaby or Christopher Nkunku.

France head coach Didier Deschamps has revealed his 25-man squad for Euro 2024, with the shock inclusion of a former Chelsea midfielder headlining the selection.

Les Bleus travel to Germany for this summer's continental gathering aiming to banish the demons of previous tournaments, having not been crowned champions of Europe since 2000.

Deschamps's troops took the silver medal behind Portugal in the 2016 edition, while their Euro 2020 campaign came to a premature end with a penalty-shootout loss to Switzerland in the last 16.

On the back of coming so close yet so far to defending their World Cup crown in Qatar, also suffering spot-kick heartbreak to Argentina, France sailed through Euro 2024 qualifying with 22 points from a possible 24.

Les Bleus squared off with Poland, the Netherlands and Austria in Group D of the tournament - sneaking through in second place - and Deschamps confirmed his selection for the Championships on May 16, with one midfield selection in particular standing out.

Al Ittihad's N'Golo Kante pictured on September 1, 2023 © Reuters

N'Golo Kante called up to France squad

Former Chelsea lynchpin and current Al-Ittihad man N'Golo Kante has been summoned by Deschamps for Euro 2024, despite not playing for his nation since a Nations League loss to Denmark in June 2022.

The veteran's final couple of years at Chelsea were blighted by injuries, but he has found form in Saudi Arabia, coming up with four goals and six assists from 41 matches across all tournaments for Al-Ittihad.

Kante has also crucially managed to stay fit for most of the season, and the Premier League, Champions League and World Cup winner will be present to help his nation in Germany this summer.

At the other end of the midfield experience scale, 18-year-old Paris Saint-Germain prospect Warren Zaire-Emery is also part of Deschamps's selection, as is his teammate Bradley Barcola, the only uncapped player in the ranks at the time.

Real Madrid left-back Ferland Mendy is also part of the 25-man troupe, despite also not playing for his nation since late 2022 on account of his perennial fitness problems, and he benefits from the absence of Lucas Hernandez.

Christopher Nkunku, Moussa Diaby left out

The luckless PSG defender memorably saw his 2022 World Cup campaign cut short by an ACL injury, and a similar issue sustained against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League has scuppered his hopes of representing Les Bleus this time around too.

Real Madrid midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni missed the Champions League final with a foot issue but has been included nonetheless, while a selection of Premier League players headline the notable absentees.

Chelsea's Christopher Nkunku - whose first season in West London has been disrupted by injuries - and Aston Villa's Moussa Diaby are both overlooked, as are the former's teammates Axel Disasi and Malo Gusto.

Highly-rated Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo and Crystal Palace winger Michael Olise are also snubbed by Deschamps, whose side eased to a 3-0 friendly win over Luxembourg on June 5 and drew 0-0 with Canada before jetting off to Germany.

Les Bleus open their latest bid for European glory against Austria on June 17, before taking on the Netherlands on June 21 and Poland on June 25 respectively.

France Euro 2024 squad in full

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham United), Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Brice Samba (Lens)

Defenders: Jonathan Clauss (Marseille), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid), Benjamin Pavard (Inter Milan), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), N'Golo Kante (Al-Ittihad), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Warren Zaire-Emery (PSG)

Forwards: Bradley Barcola (PSG), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (PSG), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Randal Kolo Muani (PSG), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Marcus Thuram (Inter Milan)

Manager - Didier Deschamps

France coach Didier Deschamps on November 18, 2023© Reuters

Due to the recent deaths of the legendary Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer - who passed away within just two days of each other in January 2024 - Bleus boss Didier Deschamps is in a class of his own as the only living man to boast World Cup titles as both a player and manager.

A distinguished defensive midfielder during his playing heyday, Deschamps tried his hand at club management with all of Monaco, Marseille and Juventus before taking the France reins in 2012, restoring Les Bleus back to their glory days as far as world domination was concerned.

A global conqueror in 2018 and runner-up in 2022, Deschamps has overseen one form of continental supremacy with France in the shape of the 2020-21 Nations League title, but a last-16 Euro 2020 exit to Switzerland on penalties was a rare blot on his notebook.

Now under contract with the French Football Federation until 2026 - thereby keeping Zinedine Zidane waiting for his number one job - Deschamps has been honoured with several individual coaching accolades thanks to his national team work and, barring disaster in Germany, will lead Les Bleus into another World Cup campaign in two years' time.

Star player - Kylian Mbappe

France's Kylian Mbappe in action on June 5, 2024© Reuters

When it comes to players possessing the coveted X-factor, France's leading talisman Kylian Mbappe is most certainly one of them, and the 25-year-old captains his nation in Germany on the back of an extremely protracted transfer saga.

Three years after failing with two nine-figure bids for the ex-Monaco starlet, Real Madrid managed to prise Mbappe away from Paris Saint-Germain without paying the French champions a single penny, much to the fury of Parisiens president Nasser Al-Khelaifi.

Mbappe did not leave without becoming the greatest goalscorer that PSG has ever seen, though, and now that the worst-kept secret in football has finally been confirmed, the scintillating attacker can solely focus on righting the wrongs of Euro 2020, where it was his penalty miss that sent France out in the last 16.

However, Mbappe trudged up to the World Cup 2022 with a face like thunder to collect his well-earned Golden Boot, and he is only a few strikes away from overtaking Thierry Henry in the all-time France scoring charts, a very achievable feat at Euro 2024.


France's Randal Kolo Muani celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates on March 26, 2024© Reuters

Sweeping aside their Euro 2024 qualifying foes as expected, France dropped a paltry two points from their eight preliminary games, winning each of their first seven before being held to a 2-2 draw by Greece on the final matchday.

Les Bleus' previous septet of successes included a 14-0 obliteration of Gibraltar - the biggest ever win in the history of the France men's team - as well as a 6-1 trouncing of the Netherlands over two fixtures.

However, Deschamps's side have fallen to Germany's supremacy twice in friendly contests since the end of the 2022 World Cup, going down 2-1 to Die Mannschaft in September 2023 before opening 2024 with an equally disappointing 2-0 defeat versus the Euro 2024 hosts.

France did manage to get back to winning ways against Chile on March 26 - even if their 3-2 success was not all that pretty - before defeating Luxembourg 3-0 and labouring to a goalless draw with Canada in their June warm-up battles.

Group and fixtures

Euro 2024 Group D (25/06)

June 17: Austria 0-1 France (8pm | Dusseldorf Arena, Dusseldorf)
June 21: Netherlands 0-0 France (8pm | Leipzig Stadium, Leipzig)
June 25: France 1-1 Poland (5pm | BVB Stadion Dortmund, Dortmund)

Expected XI

Maignan; Kounde, Upamecano, Konate, Hernandez; Kante, Camavinga; Dembele, Griezmann, Mbappe; Thuram

ID:543796:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect14686:

Click here for more stories about N'Golo Kante

Click here for more stories about France

Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
France and Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate pictured in June 2023
Read Next:
Ibrahima Konate recalled to France squad, Axel Disasi dropped
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.
rhs 2.0
Today's games header
Tables header RHS
3Aston Villa00000000
5Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton00000000
7Crystal Palace00000000
10Ipswich TownIpswich00000000
11Leicester CityLeicester00000000
13Manchester CityMan City00000000
14Manchester UnitedMan Utd00000000
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle00000000
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest00000000
18Tottenham HotspurSpurs00000000
19West Ham UnitedWest Ham00000000
20Wolverhampton WanderersWolves00000000

Sports Mole provides in-depth previews and predictions for every match from the biggest leagues and competitions in world football.
Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after collecting the Golden Ball award on December 18, 2022Sign up for our FREE daily preview newsletter direct to your inbox!