Giroud Dropped From France Squad as Benzema Returns
Olivier Giroud has been dropped from the France squad for their upcoming Nations League matches after Karim Benzema’s return.
Benzema missed out on Didier Deschamps’ most recent squad due to injury and, in his absence, Giroud scored twice in friendlies against Ivory Coast and South Africa. Those efforts helped the AC Milan forward move within three goals of Thierry Henry’s all-time France record of 51.
Other notable changes in the squad include Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara, who has received his first call-up. Arsenal defender William Saliba, who is on loan at Marseille, has also been selected once again after earning two caps in the previous round of fixtures.
Giroud, 35, has been a reliable servant for his national side when called upon, having been a key figure in the squad that won the 2018 World Cup. He has continued to have a respectable return on the domestic level this season, netting nine goals from 28 appearances in Serie A.
The change is, however, hardly surprising as Benzema has arguably been the most potent forward in European football this campaign. The Real Madrid forward has scored 27 goals in 31 in La Liga this season, as well as adding 15 in the Champions League, where he has led his side to the Champions League final.
France will take on Croatia home and away, travel to Austria and host Denmark next month in the Nations League, which they won last year.
France’s 24-man Nations League squad:
Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham United), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Mike Maignan (AC Milan).
Defenders: Jonathan Clauss (RC Lens), Lucas Digne (Aston Villa), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris St Germain), Jules Kounde (Sevilla), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Olympique de Marseille), Raphael Varane (Manchester United).
Midfielders: Matteo Guendouzi (Olympique de Marseille), Boubacar Kamara (Olympique de Marseille), NGolo Kante (Chelsea), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouamani (Monaco).
Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig).