Injured Payet, Lacazette excluded from France squad

Jo Caldwell
May 18, 2018

"He was a serious candidate for a place in the 23 but for this kind of injury it's usually three weeks of recovery", Deschamps said.

Lacazatte was impressed in a 2-2 score draw against Germany in last November friendlies while Martial won 18 caps and started France's 3-1 friendly victory over Russian Federation in March and Marseille's former West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet has also been omitted.

His Marseille team-mate Florian Thauvin was included in the squad after a fantastic season for the Ligue 1 club.

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Deschamps has a wealth of attacking options despite the omissions of Lacazette and Martial, with Chelsea's Olivier Giroud competing with the likes of Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann, PSG forward Kylian Mbappe and Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele for selection in Russian Federation. They open their campaign on June 16 when they take on Australia at the Kazan Arena.

Back on defensive line, left-back Benjamin Mendy was called up although he featured in few games for Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

The former Monaco man posted an emotional message on his Instagram along with images of the moment he suffered a torn knee ligament and a recent French team lining up with the message: 'It always seems impossible until it's done'. "He played the first half-hour of the Europa League final and his situation worsened".

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Italy's most capped player with 176, Buffon could make his global farewell on June 4 in a friendly against the Netherlands. He said: 'It is never easy to watch the team when you are not involved but I am fighting every day for the No.1 spot.

"I dreamed of participating in this World Cup like all the children who will watch this World Cup", said the 19-year-old Mbappe.

The attacking duo were instead included on an 11-strong standby list for the World Cup in Russian Federation.

Karim Benzema is the other notable omission, but the Real Madrid man was never in contention to make the trip as he has effectively retired from worldwide football ever since his infamous "sex-tape scandal" broke.

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Laurent Koscielny was another French player set to miss out on World Cup following his Achilles injury. "They were good against Germany, but the whole team were. I have put my faith in players who have responded to that, and the squad comes before everything else", Deschamps said.

With the FIFA World Cup edging closer as days passed by, each of the 32 teams have been busy releasing their preliminary and final 23-man squads for the competition.

Before heading to Russian Federation, they will play three home friendlies, starting against the Republic of Ireland at the Stade de France on May 28.

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