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Benzema of France is looking to break the ‘champions curse’ with a star-studded squad

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France has a huge task to end the long-running “curse of the champions” that began in 2010 when that was 2006. Globalism Cup winners Italy were eliminated in the tournament’s group stage. The curse followed Spain and Germany in 2014 and 2018 respectively in the following tournaments. Didier Deschamps is likely to manage the French side for the last time at the World Cup as Zinedine Zidane is expected to take over.

The title holders are indisputably one of the deadliest forces in the attacking division with the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Kingsley Coman and Olivier Giroud. But Karim Benzema’s injury, which kept him out of the World Cup, will force Deschamps to change his plans at the last minute.

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France produced a dominant display at last World Cup finals, defeating World Cup favorites Argentina, Belgium and World Cup favorites Croatia. Mbappe appeared on the big stage in Russia, lighting up the tournament with his lightning speed that was more than the opponent could handle.

N’Golo Kante was France’s unsung hero during the glorious campaign as the defensive midfielder held off the likes of Lionel Messi laying the foundation for an unforgettable tournament. However, they will miss his valuable services this time as the injury forced him out of the tournament.

While Paul Pogba has been out of the French squad, that could leave them vulnerable when it comes to the creativity department. Deschamps has to play with a young midfield now to run the team in Qatar.

The spotlight will be on Real Madrid’s young duo Aurelien Choameni and Eduardo Camavinga to maintain the midfield but they still lack creativity in the department. Adrien Rabiot may start for them but there will always be doubts about his quality as he hasn’t been a regular in the Juventus squad for long. Four years ago, he missed out on a place in the victorious squad for the 2018 World Cup and refused to be on the reserve list.

In the defensive department, Les Bleus have some strong defenders in the unit – Jules Kounde, Ibrahima Konate, Dayot Upamecano, Raphael Varane, William Saliba and Raphael Varane. Choosing the perfect husband for Deschamps will be a big problem. However, they lack depth at full-back because only Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard fill the positions.

However, Hugo Lloris hasn’t been at his best lately but he has to dive deep into the past to find his best version.

Many may not agree, but Griezmann holds the key for the Frenchman to emulate Russia’s success once again. In the absence of an experienced midfielder, the Atletico Madrid star may be pushed into a central role in the attacking unit as a holding midfielder. The 31-year-old has done the job on the big stages at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2016. His form has dipped lately, but the French jersey has always brought out the best in him.

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After missing out on the title of world champion, Big Benz was hungry to add the World Cup to his profile after winning the Ballon d’Or this year, but an injury in a French training session dashed his dream.

Benzema has also stated that he wants to show the world in Qatar why he deserves the Ballon d’Or this year.

Mbappe, who has been one of the best performers in the World Cup, is focused on guiding his team to win back-to-back tournaments. He was touted as the next big thing in soccer and started to make big waves around the world after becoming the highest paid soccer player in Europe.

The 21-year-old enjoyed playing in the French group as Deschamps placed him on the left flank which he thought was an ideal spot for him.

While another young talent, Dembele will be looking to set the big stage on fire. Dembele has all the credentials to become the next Ballon d’Or winner, but persistent injuries have caused him to fall so far in his career. However, he has found his best form this year for Barcelona as he has emerged as one of the best assist providers in the world.

With no Benzema in the squad, France will once again be counting on Olivier Giroud to get the job done in front of goal. The Milan man hasn’t been the mainstay for nearly a year in the French camp, but he has a knack for scoring goals in stressful moments. This cannot be ignored, he is only three goals away from becoming France’s top goalscorer beating the legendary Thierry Henry.

Deschamps must find the right starting line-up from the star-studded squad as he has plenty of quality defenders and attacking players in his squad. While he may change his midfield according to the opposition because they lack stability in that department.

France band

goalkeepersAlphonse Areola (West Ham United), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Rennes).

The DefendersLucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Presnel Kempembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kunde (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamecano. (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United).

midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Mathieu Guendouzi (Olympique de Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Chouamini (Real Madrid), Jordan Veritot (Olympique de Marseille).

attackersKingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Marcus Thuram (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Randall Kolo Mwani (Eintracht Frankfurt).

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