By now, we’re all quite aware that France’s World Cup squad is sweetly stacked.
With the likes of Antoine Griezmann, N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba in their line-up, a lot of us can see this side going far in the tournament.
In fact, it’s worth judging their squad on the level of quality that’s been left at home, with players like Anthony Martial, Kingsley Coman, Alexandre Lacazette and Paris Saint-Germain stalwart Adrien Rabiot failing to make the cut.
Then there’s Dimitri Payet and Laurent Koscielny, who’ve both been ruled-out through injury.
And then compare that to this squad to the one that showed up in Brazil back in 2014.
Folks like Morgan Schneiderlin – who was an integral member of Southampton’s midfield at the time and on the cusp of a big-money moved to Man United – was seen as a no-brainer, while Loic Remy went to the World Cup following a decent season on-loan at Newcastle.
There was even Man City bench-warmer Eliaquim Mangala in the fold.
Of course, there was also ageing stars like Franck Ribery, Bacary Sagna, Patrice Evra and Karim Benzema in tow, as well as Premier League regulars Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy.
None of them close to a call-up this time around, although Debuchy was rumoured to be close to a recall following his successful stint with Saint-Etienne.
What’s more, only seven players in the current squad were on the plane four years ago, with Hugo Lloris, Raphael Varane, Pogba, Blaise Matuidi, Griezmann and Olivier Giroud surviving the cull.
No doubt in four years time, we’ll be scratching our heads over why Steven Nzonzi and Florian Thauvin made the 2018 squad.
Funny how fast-moving and fickle football is, eh?
DREAM TEAM WORLD CUP It’s not too late to sign up to this summer’s brilliant game!