France looks to defend World Cup title on Qatari soil in 7th consecutive finals appearance

The French national team faced an injury crisis less than one month ahead of the World Cup.

Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, and Mike Maignan are on the list of players to miss the tournament.

Along with Kylian Mbappe, veteran superstars like Karim Benzema and Antoine Griezmann will give Les Bleus an abundance of players capable of stepping up to make up for the deficit.

Olivier Giroud, Ousmane Dembele, and Kingsley Coman are also expected to combine their skills to carry France to victory.

France qualified for Qatar 2022 after finishing as the winner of Group D in the European Qualifiers.

France has one of the world's most intimidating teams, clinching the World Cup title twice in 1998 as hosts and in 2018 Russia.

In 2006 Germany, and France completed the tournament as runners-up, losing on penalties to Italy after the final match ended 1-1.

France also won the UEFA Nations League in 2021 but was knocked out in the Round of 16 at the Euros in recent years.

French teams participated 15 times in the World Cup and are ranked fourth in the FIBA World standings.

France's World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham United), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), and Steve Mandanda (Rennes).

Defenders: Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), William Saliba (Arsenal), and Raphael Varane (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga, Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi, Jordan Veretout (Olympique Marseille), and Adrien Rabiot (Juventus).

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), and Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig).


The Socceroos will compete in the tournament for the fifth time. The Australian heavyweights had their best finish in the competition in 2006 Germany, reaching the last 16.

The national team beat Peru to move to Qatar in 2022 and qualified for the World Cup finals on five occasions, including in 1974, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018, and 2022.


UEFA Group F winners, Denmark, qualified directly for the World Cup finals and will make its sixth appearance.

Under the stewardship of Kasper Hjulmand, they finished the group with 28 points, four points ahead of second-place Scotland.

The tournament’s dark horse among many favorites made their World Cup debut in the 1986 Mexico World Cup.

But Denmark did not play in another World Cup until 1998 in France, where they had their best performance, qualifying for the quarterfinals but losing to Brazil 3-2.


Tunisia, also known as the Eagles of Carthage, have played five times in the World Cup.

The African team will make its sixth appearance this year when they open their matches by squaring off against Denmark.

Tunisia debuted at the World Cup in 1978 and advanced to Qatar in 2022 after beating Mali 1-0 on aggregate in the third round of the CAF qualifier.

Source: Anadolu Agency