Didier Deschamps might want to load up on the aspirin after France released their 23-man squad for Euro 2016.
The national team boss faces a number of headache selections; France’s team is packed full of stars from Raphael Varane in defence to Antoine Griezmann up front.
France host the tournament, which gets underway on June 10, and they will be many people’s favourites to topple reigning champions Spain and World Cup winners Germany.
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Deschamps’ team enter the tournament as an unknown quantity having not competed in the qualification process but there’s no doubt they should be around for the semi-finals and maybe even the final on July 10.
Fans of Premier League teams will identify the names of Hugo Lloris, Laurent Koscielny, Eliaquim Mangala, Bacary Sagna, Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko N’Golo Kante, Olivier Giroud, Dimitri Payet and Anthony Martial in the squad.
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One notable absence, though, is that of Nice’s Hatem Ben Arfa. The trickster has had a great season in Ligue 1, even attracting reported interest from Barcelona, but has to settle for a spot on the standby list.
Check out the squad below.
There is no spot for centre-back Mamadou Sakho, but that really isn’t much of a surprise. The 26-year-old is currently serving a 30-day ban for an anti-doping violation but he remains a big loss given his fine form for Liverpool.
Karim Benzema and Mathieu Valbuena are also omitted due to their involvement in Valbuena’s ongoing blackmail case.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the announcement.
Kante and Payet's deserved inclusions
It’s nice to see Kante and Payet included after having nightly impressive seasons for Leicester City and West Ham respectively.
Both were included in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year and have been rewarded for their heroic efforts.
Deschamps has plenty of options to choose from in attack. He decided against selecting Borussia Dortmund’s new signing Ousmane Dembele but that might have been due to an inability to find a spot more than the 18-year-old’s inexperience on the big stage.
It’ll be interesting to see how Manchester United’s Anthony Martial fares in the tournament. The hype surrounding the 20-year-old when he arrived at Old Trafford last summer has only increased this season and he could play a pivotal role in France’s attempt to win their first major trophy since the 2000 European Championship.
Who will win Euro 2016? Let us know in the comments section below!
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