France Announces FIFA World Cup Squad
As a former winner of the FIFA World Cup, it is always of great interest in the football world when France announces its lineup for the great event. Today, the French manager, Didier Deschamps announced the 23-man lineup that will attempt to bring the World Cup trophy to France for the first time since 1998.
The 23-man lineup is short on international football experience. Of the 23 men, only six players were on the roster for the 2014 World Cup. Only nine of the 23 men played in Euro 2016 just two short years ago. The youth and relative inexperience of the lineup is leading to criticism of Deschamps. However, Deschamps stated that if there is a defect in his lineup choices, he is the one who will take full responsibility.
There are two players who sports analysts were shocked to find out were left out of the lineup. Dimitri Payet who is a striker with Marseilles will not be in the lineup. Deschamps is concerned that an injury to Payet's thigh will not heal in time for him to be of significant use in the World Cup. Anthony Martial from the Manchester United squad was also excluded in spite of previous good performances with the French team.
A surprise choice for striker on the 23-man roster is Florian Thauvin who plays his club football at Marseilles. He is a young player that doesn't have the experience of others who have been left off the squad.
The French defense will look totally different than the defense that took to the pitch in Euro 2016. Two of the French teams best and most experienced defenders are retiring from international competition.
The French starters in the backfield are likely to be Benjamin Mendy from Manchester United, Samuel Umtiti of Barcelona, Djibril Sidibe from Monaco and Raphael Varane from Real Madrid.
With the inexperience at the striker position, the French team will rely on the defense to keep matches close. France will hope that Deschamps' experience in bringing the World Cup to France as a player will help him as he tries to bring home the trophy as the manager of the 2018 squad.
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