Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema’s international exile continues as French coach Didier Deschamps omitted him from the list of players for the World Cup.
Also, Marseille star Dimitri Payet was left out after being forced off with a hamstring injury in the first half of Marseille’s Europa League final defeat against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
Deschamps released the squad on Thursday where he said, “Dimitri Payet was a serious candidate for a place in the squad.
“He played the first half-hour (against Atletico), but he aggravated his injury, and the recovery time needed for that type of injury is three weeks.
“But as it is a muscle injury, there is a risk of a relapse.”
Payet, a former West Ham star was one of Les Bleus stand out players during the Euro 2016 competition where his team lost to Portugal in the final.
On the other hand, Benzema has not played for France since October 2015 after being accused of involvement in a blackmail affair involving a sextape was left out.
“Two years have passed. I have put my faith in players who have responded to that, and the squad comes before everything else,” Deschamps said about the Champions League winner. “I make decisions for the good of the France team.”
However, Hugo Lloris, Paul Pogba, Olivier Giroud and Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe all made the cut.
Reacting to the announcement, Mbappe said he, “dreamed of participating in this World Cup like all the children who will watch this World Cup.
“But now it’s a reality and I will work during training to be the best performer possible to help the team.”
Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette is one of 11 with Deschamps having until June 4 before submitting his final list to Fifa.
France open their World Cup campaign against Australia on June 16, before taking on Peru and Denmark in Group C.
France Full Squad:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)
Defenders: Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City/ENG), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart/GER), Adil Rami (Marseille), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona/ESP), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP)
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus/ITA), Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla/ESP), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich/GER)
Forwards: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona/ESP), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Florian Thauvin (Marseille)