3 Olympiens called up to Les Bleus
France coach Didier Deschamps appeared on television on Thursday to unveil his highly anticipated initial squad list for the 2018 World Cup in Russia — selecting defender Adil Rami, goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and forward Florian Thauvin to his team.
Deschamps selected 23 players and 11 alternates for his team. Les Olympiens appear three times in his list of the primary 23. No one from OM is on the reserve list.
The final selection will be announced on 4 June.
Thauvin has been an utter revelation season — he's scored 22 goals and provided 11 assists through 37 matches in Ligue 1 and 26 goals with 15 assists across all competitions. He's featured in 52 matches and 4.034 minutes. The 25-year-old winger has three caps with France — France-Colombia (23/3/18 - 2-3 L), France-Wales (10/11/17 - 2-0 W) and France-Paraguay (2/6/18 - 5-0 W).
Mandanda, the 2017-18 UNFP Goalkeeper of the Year for Ligue 1, will join Les Bleus after winning the honor for the fifth time. The 33-year-old has made 30 appearances this season with 81 saves, 11 clean sheets and a 40% saves rate on penalty kicks he's faced. He has 26 caps with France, having last featured in a 2-2 draw with Germany (14/11/17).
Rami also forced Deschamps' selection via an extraordinary campaign through the Europa League final and Ligue 1. The 32-year-old central defender has been consistently featured under Rudi Garcia — with 54 appearances, two goals and an assist across all competitions. He has 33 caps with France, having last appeared nearly two years ago against the Ivory Coast (15/11/16 - 0-0 D)
Friendly Fixtures for Les Bleus ahead of the FIFA World Cup
- France-Republic of Ireland, Monday, May 28, in Saint-Denis (9 pm, Stade de France).
- France-Italy, Friday, June 1, in Nice (9 pm, Allianz Riviera).
- France-United States, Saturday, June 9, in Lyon (21:00, Groupama Stadium).