The 2022 World Cup drew to a close in December having captivated fans of the participating 32 countries and beyond.
Looking back on it now, there were some epic contests, wonderful goals, and great fan interactions at the close knit tournament in Qatar.
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Getting back to the World Cup, while most top teams were preparing for a long journey towards the trophy, injuries jeopardised some players’ participation. France in particular had to deal with the loss of some key squad components, while star striker Karim Benzema made the squad but took no part in due to his issues.
Many wondered if France’s football stars would be able to advance from Group D due to potential injuries but they prevailed alongside Australia and at the expense of Denmark and Tunisia. Below are just some of the names they did it without.
France players missing from the tournament in Qatar
France had a deep and talented squad but they were hit by a few injuries and the following are just some of the players who missed out on Qatar.
Paul Pogba’s absence from the World Cup in Qatar had left a gaping hole in France’s midfield.
Although the 29-year-old midfielder had been expected to return from a knee injury in time for Juventus’ Champions League squad, he suffered a thigh strain during his recovery that kept him out of competition.
Having played for France regularly in recent years, he was part of the World Cup winning team in 2018 and scored when his team beat Croatia 4-2 in the final. He also had a solid year at Manchester United and helped them qualify for the Champions League the next season. However, his career has stalled since leaving Old Trafford for a second time.
N’Golo Kante, who plays for the English club Chelsea and is arguably France’s best player, was forced to withdraw from the team after only two games in August due to a hamstring injury. By October, he had undergone surgery which would keep him out of competition for four months.
A key player at both club and country level, the 31-year-old has a history of ailments. With the loss of one of the world’s best hardworking midfielders, France suffered a significant setback.
AC Milan goalkeeper Michael Maignan could not make the squad due to an injury, which hurt France’s goalkeeping ranks.
The 27-year-old has seen his popularity grow since he helped lead his club to the Serie A title last season. Many believe he is a viable replacement for Hugo Lloris, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League but has recently called it a day at international level.
As France arrived in Qatar, Presnel Kimpembe of Paris Saint-Germain had already been ruled out because he didn’t recover from a recurring injury in time.
The 27-year-old was part of France’s successful 2018 campaign in Russia, but didn’t add to his 28 caps in Qatar.
Midfielder Christopher Nkunku of RB Leipzig suffered a knee injury during training. At the team, the 25-year-old had scored 17 goals in 23 games for his club and was expected to play a key role for Les Bleus.
Despite these absendes, France still gave an excellent account of themselves in the tournament and reached the final before losing to Argentina on penalties.