No Benzema for Deschamps as 'balanced' France squad named

REAL MADRID

No Benzema for Deschamps as 'balanced' France squad named

Didier Deschamps, seleccionador francés.

LIONEL BONAVENTURE

AFP

French national team coach Didier Deschamps confirmed that there is no place for 'pitiful' Benzema while Lacazette returns and Mbappé gets his chance.

Didier Deschamps took a swipe at Karim Benzema on Thursday as the French coach again left the Real Madrid forward out of his 26-man squad for three key matches next month.

Sex-tape scandal forces Benzema out of French team 

The 29-year-old Benzema has not figured for France since October 2015 over allegations of his involvement in a sex-tape scandal featuring midfielder Mathieu Valbuena. Benzema and former international team-mate Valbuena exchanged barbs this week and Benzema also "liked" an Instagram photo ridiculing Deschamps and striker Olivier Giroud.

Investigators suspect Benzema of acting as an intermediary between the presumed blackmailers and alleged victim Valbuena. The case is likely to go to court later this year.

Benzema actions "pitiful" - Deschamps

Asked about Benzema's recent actions, Deschamps said: "I would say only one word: it's pitiful."

"The French team was built before the Euros (last summer), it was consolidated through the competition, where we managed to reach the final," he added of Benzema's continued omission.

"We have continued to be competitive in qualifying. I have a group with balance and harmony."

This key move not enough to get Real Madrid's Karim Benzema back into Deschamps' plans.

Lacazette, Sissoko, Mbappé and Zouma make the squad

France take on Paraguay in a home friendly on June 2, Sweden away in a crucial World Cup qualifier on June 9 and England in Paris in a June 13 friendly.

Lyon predator Alexandre Lacazette regains his place at the expense of Atletico Madrid's Kevin Gameiro, while Tottenham Hotspur's Moussa Sissoko replaces Monaco's Tiemoue Bakayoko. Bakayoko has been playing in a mask to protect his broken nose.

Monaco prodigy Kylian Mbappe again gets the chance to impress up front, while Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma gets a call-up.

Young and younger | Monaco’s Kylian Mbappe after winning Ligue 1 and now has a chance to shine on the international stage.

French squad announced:

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (Paris SG), Benoit Costil (Rennes), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ENG)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Barcelona/ESP), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris SG), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal/ENG), Benjamin Mendy (Monaco), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona/ESP), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea/ENG)

Midfielders: N'Golo Kanté (Chelsea/ENG), Blaise Matuidi (Paris SG), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG), Adrien Rabiot (Paris SG), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham/ENG), Corentin Tolisso (Lyon)

Attackers: Ousmane Dembele (Dortmund/GER), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal/ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Kylian Mbappe (Monaco), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Florian Thauvin (Marseille)

Clasificación Mundial Europa

Table PTS W D L
1Francia 13 4 1 0
2Suecia 10 3 1 1
3Bulgaria 9 3 0 2
Full standing
Next matches
Suecia - Francia V-09/06 20:45
Francia - Holanda J-31/08 20:45
Francia - Luxemburgo D-03/09 20:45
Fixtures

*Update 18 de mayo de 2017

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