Independent Online

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Mbappe, Benzema and Pogba ... France call up big guns for Bafana clash

France midfielder Paul Pogba

FILE - France midfielder Paul Pogba. Photo: Franck Fife/AFP

Published Mar 17, 2022


Johannesburg — Real Madrid’s captain Karim Benzema and Paris Saint German’s talisman Kylian Mbappe are headlining the French national team 23-man squad that will face the Ivory Coast and South Africa in two international friendlies this month.

After missing out on the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) last month, Bafana Bafana will return to action this month since November when they lost 1-0 to Ghana in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers – through a penalty from Andre Ayew.

Story continues below Advertisement

In the upcoming FIFA international break, the South Africans have scheduled two friendlies with Guinea and France in Belgium and Lille respectively. But they’ll fancy their chances against the former who exited the Afcon in the last 16.

France, the reigning world champions, will wear the favourites’ caps against Hugo Broos’ men. On Thursday afternoon, they announced their best men for their upcoming friendlies against the two Africans sides, the Elephants and Bafana.

Part and parcel of their list is Benzema and Mbappe. The duo recently met in the Uefa Champions League last 16 with their respective clubs. But it was the Spanish giants Madrid that reigned supreme as they won the tie by 3-2 on aggregate.

Benzema scored all three goals in the second leg at home last Wednesday while Mbappe had scored the winning goal at home before he doubled his team’s tally in Madrid. But only for Benzema to score a winning hattrick at home.

Meanwhile, On Monday, Broos also announced Bafana's squad that will face Guinea and France. There were his usual and new faces, although there were some questionable absentees as well, including duo Andile Jali and Themba Zwane.

France Full Squad:

Story continues below Advertisement

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham United/ENG, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Mike Maignan (AC Milan/ITA)

Defenders: Jonathan Clauss (Lens), Lucas Digne (Aston Villa/ENG), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich/GER), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan/ITA), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Jules Kounde (Sevilla/ESP), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich/GER), Raphael Varane (Manchester United/ENG)

Midfielders: Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille, on loan from Arsenal/ENG), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus/ITA), Aurelien Tchouameni (Monaco)

Story continues below Advertisement

Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich/GER), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen/GER), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP, on loan from Barcelona/ESP), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig/GER)


IOL Sport

Story continues below Advertisement