Sunday, April 22, 2018

France Projected 2018 World Cup Team


Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

My projected World Cup teams for SpainBrazilGermanyArgentinaEngland and France.

This is my projection of France's 23 member squad at the 2018 World Cup Finals in Russia. At the time of writing(April, 2018), I came up with players with the most often used in recent games.

Final squad different vs my prediction on this blog
Out: Alexandre Lacazette, Anthony Martial, Laurent Koscielny, Lucas Digne, Adrien Rabiot, Kingsley Coman.
In: Benjamin Mendy(I thought he was injured), Benjamin Pavard, Presnel Kimpembe, Nabil Fekir, Adil Rami.

Team
GK: Hugo Lloris (France)
Lorries started his career with Nice.  He moved to Lyon in 2008 to replace Coupet. In 2012, he moved to Tottenham Hotspurs.  Tay the time of writing, he has over 80 caps for France.  He is a key player since the World Cup Finals in 2010, participating in every major tournaments.  He was the starting keeper for France at the Euro 2016 and the World Cup Finals in 2018.
Hugo Lloris 
GK: Steve Mandanda 
Mandanda made his league début for Le Havre in August 2005. He joined Marseille in 2008.  He had played over 300 games for them since 2008. He spent a season with Crytal Palace.  For the natinal team, he was mainly a backup keeper.  At the time of writing, he has 26 caps.  He served as the third keeper at the WC Finals in 2010 and 2014. He has three brothers who are also professional goalkeepers.

GK: Alphonse Areola (PSG)
An academy graduate of PSG, he spent the early parts of his career on loan, enjoying spells with Lens, Bastia and La Liga side, Villarreal. During his stint with the latter, Areola broke the club record for the longest period of play without conceding a goal, remaining unbeaten for a period of 620. Since 2016, he has returned to PSG.

RB: Djibril Sidibé (AS Monaco)
Djibril Sidibé started his career with Troyes. After helping earn Troyes promotion to Ligue 1, the 19-year-old signed for Lille in July 2012. In 2016, he joined AS Monaco, where his club reached the semifinal of the Champions' League.  On 25 August 2016, Sidibé was called up to the senior squad for the first time.  he made his debut in September of that year.

CB: Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)
Varane started with Lens. After one season with the French club, as a professional footballer, Varane joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2011. With Real Madrid, he won 3 Champions League in 4 years.  In 2012, he made his international debut.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2014, where he was nominated as the Young Player of the Tournament.  He missed the 2016 European Championship through an injury.
Raphaël Varane
CB: Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona)
Umtiti began his professional career with Lyon in 2012, winning the Coupe de France and Trophée des Champions that year. He transferred to Barcelona in 2016. Umtiti, who was uncapped at senior level, was selected by France national team manager Didier Deschamps to be part of his Euro 2016 squad following an injury to fellow centre-back Jérémy Mathieu.


RB/CB: Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal)
Koscielny began with Guingamp in 2003.  He later played for Tours and Lorient before joining Arsenal in 2010. He moved to Arsenal in 2010.  Less than a season later, he was called up to the French national team.  He had also considered playing for Poland.  The French centerback had played on the rightback for Arsenal. At the time of writing, he had over 50 caps.

CB/LB: Lucas Hernández (Atletico Madrid)
Lucas' father, Jean-François, was also a footballer, who played for Atletico Madrid, where Lucas started in the academy. In 2014, he made his professional debut.  He received his international in 2018.  His brother Theo played for Real Madrid.

LB: Layvin Kurzawa (PSG)
Kurzawa began his career at Monaco in 2010, and played 96 official games for the team, scoring eight goals. In 2015, he transferred to Paris Saint-Germain for €23 million, winning a treble in his first season. Kurzawa made his senior international debut for France in 2014.
Layvin Kurzawa 
LB: Lucas Digne (Barcelona)
Digne began his career at Lille before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2013. He did not settle at the club. After spending a season on loan at Roma, he moved to Barcelona in July 2016.  Digne represented France at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, wearing the number 17 shirt. 

DM/CM: Blaise Matuidi (Juventus)
Matuidi began his career with Troyes before joining AS Saint-Étienne. From 2011 to 2017, he played for Paris St Germain. In 2017, he joined Juventus. At the time of writing, he has represented France at the European Championship of 2012 and 2016 as well as the World Cup Finals in 2014.  He has 64 caps.

DM: N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea)
Kante made his senior debut at Boulogne and then spent two seasons at Caen. In 2015, he joined Leicester City winning the Premier League in his only season there. The following year, he joined Chelsea, winning the league again in his first season. He also won the PFA Players' Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year and became the first outfield player to win back-to-back English league titles with different clubs since Eric Cantona in 1992 and 1993.
N'Golo Kanté 
CM: Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich)
A graduate of the Lyon academy, he made his professional debut for the club in 2013 and played 160 matches and scored 29 goals. He joined Bayern Munich for €41.5 million in the summer of 2017, a record for a transfer to a German club.  Since 2017, he has been capped by France.

CM: Adrien Rabiot (PSG)
Rabbit pent most of his career with Paris Saint-Germain, making his debut with the first team in 2012 and winning 15 major honours, including four consecutive Ligue 1 titles and a treble in 2015–16.  In 2016, he picked up his first senior cap after the European Championship of 2016.

CM: Paul Pogba
Pogba began his senior career with Manchester United, but after only 3 appearance in a season and half, he moved to Juventus.  In Turin, he became a megastar.  He won the Golden Boy Award for the best player under-21 playing in Europe.  He also led Juventus to the Final of the 2015 Champions' League Final.  In the summer of 2016, Manchester United broke the all-time transfer fees to sign Pogba.  At the time of writing, he was capped 43 times.  He led France to reach the Final of Euro 2016 and to win the World Cupo in 2018.
Paul Pogba
RW: Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona)
Dembélé began his career at Rennes before joining Dortmund in 2016. A year later, he transferred to Barcelona for an initial fee of €105 million, becoming the joint-third most expensive footballer ever alongside Paul Pogba. In 2016, he made his national team debut after the European Championship.

LW: Thomas Lemar (AS Monaco)
Lemar began his senior career at Caen in 2013. He played 32 times for the club before moving to Monaco for £3.4 million in 2015. He made UEFA Champions League Breakthrough XI in 2016.  In 2016, he also made his national team debut after the European Championship.  

LW/FW: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich)
Coman was a youth product with Paris St Germain.  He made his senior debut there before moving to Juventus in 2014.  In 2017, he joined Bayern Munich.  In 2015, he earned his first senior cap and was a part of Didier Deschamps' team at the European Championship in 2016.  He was considered one of the top young players there.

FW: Kylian Mbappé (PSG)
Mbappe was a well-known youth player in France before making his senior debut with AS Monaco in 2015.  He quickly established himself as one of the best young players in the world.  In the summer of 2017, Monaco sent him to Paris St Germain on loan for a buyout option of around €180 million at the end of the loan. In 2017, he made his national team debut, becoming the second youngest ever French international.
Kylian Mbappé
FW: Anthony Martial (Manchester United)
Martial came from the youth academy at Lyon. He played for both Lyon and Monaco before joining Manchester United in 2015. His performance with the Red Devils earned great review.  He won the Golden Bay award in 2015. He was a member of Deschamps' team at the 2016 European Championship in France.

ST: Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)
From 2010 to 2017, Lacazette played for Lyon in France.  He was the Ligue 1 Top Goalscorer for the 2014–15 season. In 2017, he joined Arsenal for €53 million (£46.5 million). The fee was the largest ever received by Lyon from the sale of a player. The transfer fee also surpassed the previous Arsenal record €50 million (£42.5 million) that Arsenal paid Real Madrid for Mesut Özil in 2013.

ST: Olivier Giroud (Chelsea)
Giroud began his career at Grenoble in Ligue 2 before joining Tours in 2008. Gird joined Arsenal in 2012.  He won the FA Cup with Arsenal in 2014, 2015 and 2017, and totalled 105 goals in 253 games for the club. In January 2018, he transferred to Chelsea on an 18-month contract.  Since 2011, he has played over 70 times for France.

ST/FW: Antoine Griezmann (France)
The Frenchman joined Real Sociedad's youth academy and made , his senior debut in 2009.  He moved to Atletico Madrid in 2014 helping the club to reach the Champions' league final in 2016.  At the time of writing, he was capped 49 times for France.  He made his mark at the WC in 2014.  Two years later, he led the team to reach the Final of Euro 2016.  He won the Golden Boot that year.
Antoine Griezmann
Players considered
 Benjamin Pavard, Presnel Kimpembe, Karim Benzema

Squad Explanation  
-- Benjamin Mendy has been out injured.
-- Benzema has been out of consideration since 2015.
-- I am uncertain about Anthony Martial and Ousmane Dembélé.  Both players have been in and out of Deschamps' plan.  I took them based on their name recognition.   

Formation




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