Sacre Bleu! A Starting XI of the Players Excluded From France's Squad for the Upcoming Qualifiers

Following the recent announcement of the France squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Bulgaria and Belarus, a few eyebrows were raised at the omission of a number of big names who would undoubtedly make any other squad in world football. Quite shockingly, the number of big names excluded is so high that you could create a whole new starting eleven from them, and that is exactly what we've done... The Saint-Etienne stopper has been regarded as a top class keeper for many years...

Stephane Ruffier

The Saint-Etienne stopper has been regarded as a top class keeper for many years now, and has earned three caps for Les Bleus in the past. 


In fairness, the 31-year-old is behind the likes of Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda and Alphonse Areola in the pecking order for Didier Deschamps' number one spot, but the former Monaco man would almost certainly get into most other countries' international squad. 

Kurt Zouma

The on loan Chelsea man has been in good form at Stoke this season, starting six of the Potters' seven Premier League games and looks back to his commanding self following a gruesome long term injury.


The 22-year-old can't be far off a return to the international scene, and if he continues his impressive form at the bet365 Stadium this season, Deschamps would be silly not to let the former Saint-Etienne man add to his two caps.  

Mamadou Sakho

Crystal Palace's £26m man hasn't played for his country since March of 2016 after falling out of favour with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, but his inspirational loan spell in south London should certainly have caught the attention of Deschamps, so impressive were the nature of his performances. 


Sakho will need to rejuvenate Palace's backline and kick start their season if he wants a return to the international set up, having conceded nine goals in his first two Premier League starts for the Eagles. 

Aymeric Laporte

Athletic Bilbao's academy graduate has been a classy defender both on and off the ball for many years, which makes the fact he has never been capped by the senior side even more unbelievable.


The 23-year-old has started all of the Spanish side's games in La Liga this season, and will need to oust the likes of Samuel Umtiti and Laurent Koscielny from France's backline if he is to earn a place in Deschamp's side. 

Tiemoue Bakayoko

Chelsea's new £40m man has began his career at Stamford Bridge in impressive form, emerging as a midfield giant as the Blues look to move on from the sale of Nemanja Matic.


So excellent has the former Monaco man's form been that many expected Deschamps to select him in the squad, especially in light of Paul Pogba's omission through injury, but the 23-year-old misses out on the chance to build on his one senior cap. 

Steven N'Zonzi

The former Blackburn man has been in imperious form for Sevilla in recent years, combining a powerful physical presence with composed passing and touches in a defensive midfield role, so the fact that he has never been called up to the senior side is unbelievable. 


Sam Allardyce revealed that he had looked into calling up the 28-year-old whilst managing the England national team, and it isn't hard to see why. 

Anthony Martial

The most unfair omission on this list, the form of Anthony Martial this season has been nothing short of sensational, even more so due to the fact that the majority of his appearances have come off the bench. 


The 21-year-old already has five goals and six assists this season for Jose Mourinho's side, and the inclusion of Florian Thauvin and Moussa Sissoko over him just makes the former Monaco man's exclusion even more baffling. 

Nabil Fekir

The captain of Lyon can feel extremely hard done by that he hasn't been selected by Deschamps and given the chance to build on his nine caps for Les Bleus. 


The 24-year-old has been excellent in Ligue 1 so far this campaign, scoring five and assisting three in just eight games, and like Martial should feel perplexed at his omission over the likes of Sissoko and Thauvin. 

Kevin Gameiro

The 30-year-old has made just two substitute appearances for Atletico Madrid so far this term, so his exclusion may be slightly justified, although a player of his vast experience and quality should at least be making the squad. 


The former PSG forward possesses blistering pace and excellent finishing abilities, and should have made Deschamps' squad, if only for his impact off the bench. 

Wissam Ben Yedder

Sevilla's man in form has scored five goals so far this season, including an impressive Champions League hattrick against Maribor recently.


The 27-year-old has incredibly never been capped for his nation's senior side, despite being prolific in La Liga and in Ligue 1 with former club Toulouse, and his recent form if anything should almost certainly have seen him given a chance for his country by Deschamps. 

Karim Benzema

The Real Madrid forward has been in disappointing form for Los Blancos this campaign, scoring just once in the Super Cup, but a player of his pedigree would almost certainly make the squad of most countries. 


He has never really been a favourite of France boss Didier Deschamps, but his omission is still a glaring example that France's strength in depth is incredibly impressive and full of quality, but his exclusion on this occasion may be one of few justifiable ones on this list. 

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