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Comparing France’s 2014 and 2018 World Cup squads will quietly blow your mind

Some of the players in France's 2014 squad have not aged well

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.

All eyes on this man

AFP
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All eyes on this man

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.

Gutted

REUTERS
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Gutted

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.

Blimey

AFP
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Blimey

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.

Golden oldies

AFP
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Golden oldies

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?


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