playing time, transfer, retirement … a month after the lost final, where are the 26 Blues


It was a month ago to the day: the France team lost in the final of the 2022 World Cup against Lionel Messi’s Argentina. Since then, the national championships have resumed their rights. Small update on the recovery of the Blues.

It was a month ago to the day: the France team lost on penalties in the final of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, against Lionel Messi’s Argentina. And in a few weeks, a lot has changed within the group of 26 players selected for the competition. Returning to the club, some have experienced playing time galleys, others must manage their future.

They got back to good habits

They are 15 to have returned to the club as they had finished a month and a half earlier. Among them, some have made a comeback. For others, it was more difficult…

Holders as soon as they are available, Ousmane Dembélé (two goals) and Jules Koundé won the Spanish Super Cup with Barça. Antoine Griezmann (Atlético) and Jordan Veretout (OM) showed themselves to their advantage with three assists and two goals respectively. Raphaël Varane (Manchester United) and William Saliba (Arsenal) are both undefeated with their respective clubs across the Channel. The two central defenders have achieved two clean sheets in four games.

Mandanda (Stade Rennais), Rabiot (Juve), Giroud (AC Milan), Disasi (Monaco), Théo Hernandez (AC Milan) and Fofana (Monaco) resumed their starting positions, without necessarily being flamboyant. Kylian Mbappé (PSG) returned to training very quickly but took advantage of a vacation in early January. One goal in three games since his return to Paris. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) and Ibrahima Konaté (Liverpool) are also starters but had a difficult start to the month with each scoring an own goal.

They find it difficult to find a place

They are three struggling to win, as before the World Cup. Alphonse Areola has still not played a single match with West Ham since the end of December. Second goalkeeper of the London club, the French is overtaken by Lukasz Fabianski in the hierarchy.

The two Madrid players Aurélien Tchouaméni and Eduardo Camavinga are both in the rotation with the Merengues. The former Monegasque did not participate in the Spanish Super Cup while the former Rennes player has taken part in five games since his return, without being a potential starter.

They are waiting for the return of the Bundesliga

Dayot Upamecano and Kingsley Coman are quietly awaiting the resumption of the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich this weekend. Lucas Hernandez, injured in the first match of the World Cup (rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of the right knee), will not return to competition with his comrades this season.

They could leave this winter

Four finalists from the last World Cup are likely to take off for new horizons this winter. Benjamin Pavard (Bayern) and Mattéo Guendouzi (OM) are the two most cited players for a possible departure, interesting FC Barcelona and Juventus for one, Aston Villa for the other.

Randal Kolo Muani (Frankfurt) and Marcus Thuram (Gladbach) scored points in Qatar and caught the eye of some big European clubs. They should however remain in their club this winter, unless there is a fabulous offer.

In addition to the management of possible injuries, Didier Deschamps will have to rack his brains to draw up his list for the March rally, especially as a goalkeeper. Hugo Lloris And Steve Mandanda announced their international retirement a few days apart. Karim Benzema has also formalized his international retirement after a tumultuous end of the year 2022 with the France team and its coach in particular.

The Benzema case

Karim Benzema, although he did not participate in this World Cup due to a withdrawal for a training injury before the start of the competition, was indeed part of the group of 26 initially announced. His case is special. The Real Madrid number 9, who had resumed with the White House even before the end of the Qatari event, was quick to shake the net, scoring five goals in four games. But above all, he ended his journey with the Blues, after weeks of rumors surrounding tensions concerning his package.

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