The incredible XI of France stars left out of 2018 World Cup squad

France manager Didier Deschamps named his final 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia on Thursday, with world stars including Paul Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.

However, there has been almost as much talk about the names Deschamps has not included in his massively talent rich squad – and that’s before you get to the players ruled out by injury, such as Laurent Koscielny. 

Here, Sportsmail has put together an XI of the French players who will not be going to the World Cup as it stands, either by being on the standby list or being left out completely…

France manager Didier Deschamps left several major names out of his World Cup squad

France manager Didier Deschamps left several major names out of his World Cup squad

France manager Didier Deschamps left several major names out of his World Cup squad

(4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Benoit Costil

On the reserve list for Deschamps, the Bordeaux goalkeeper misses out due to the presence of Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris as undisputed No 1, with Alphonse Areola and Steve Mandanda as back-ups. Costil has gained a reputation as being one of Ligue 1’s most reliable keepers, with nine clean sheets last season.

Right back: Mathieu Debuchy

Frozen out at Arsenal, Debuchy – at 32 with some years still ahead of him – made a late run for the World Cup squad after joining Saint-Etienne on a free transfer in January, impressing in 14 appearances. However Djibril Sidibe is now well ahead in Deschamps’ thinking.

Centre back: Aymeric Laporte

The Manchester City centre back is the most expensive player ever without an international cap, the £57million January acquisition remarkably never having appeared for Les Bleus. His role as a squad player in the second half of City’s all-conquering Premier League campaign was not enough. 

Aymeric Laporte has never been capped by France despite costing Manchester City £57m

Aymeric Laporte has never been capped by France despite costing Manchester City £57m

Aymeric Laporte has never been capped by France despite costing Manchester City £57m

Centre back: Mamadou Sakho

Hugely unfortunate to miss out on Euro 2016 – where he would have started – after being given a drugs ban for taking a fat-burner that later transpired not to be a banned substance. Has enjoyed a good season with Crystal Palace, but is now behind the likes of Presnel Kimpembe and Benjamin Pavard.

Left back: Lucas Digne

The 24-year-old full back has found himself among Deschamps’ reserves after spending two seasons on the fringes at Barcelona – he only made 12 league appearances totaling 702 minutes in 2017-18. That said, Benjamin Mendy is in the squad having spent most of the campaign injured.

Central midfield: Adrien Rabiot 

An exception in the PSG team – a homegrown academy product with a low profile and strong work ethic. He is very unfortunate to only be in the French reserves, with Blaise Matuidi and N’Golo Kante available as defensive midfield options.

Kingsley Coman celebrated another league title this season - but is not in the France 23

Kingsley Coman celebrated another league title this season - but is not in the France 23

Kingsley Coman celebrated another league title this season – but is not in the France 23

Central midfield: Kingsley Coman

Another season, another title for Coman – three successive Bundesliga wins with Bayern Munich to go with two Serie A titles at Juventus and a Ligue 1 double at PSG. Made 32 club appearances last season, scoring seven goals, but is only a reserve for France – and such is their attacking talent, we deploy him in an unfamiliar central role.

Right wing: Alexandre Lacazette

Another wedged into a more unfamiliar role in order to accommodate France’s incredible attacking riches. Although yet to truly set the Premier League alight after a £53m move from Lyon last summer, 14 goals in 32 games is not a bad debut return. – he ended the season by scoring five and assisting one in his last six league appearances. Another left in the limbo of the standby list.

Alexandre Lacazette is only in France's reserves due to their huge array of attacking talent

Alexandre Lacazette is only in France's reserves due to their huge array of attacking talent

Alexandre Lacazette is only in France’s reserves due to their huge array of attacking talent

Attacking midfield: Dimitri Payet

Taken off after half an hour in Marseille’s Europa League final defeat after aggravating a thigh injury, Payet is done with football until August as he is even left out of the reserves. Many other managers would have named a talent like Payet in their 23 in the hope he will be fit in a month when the World Cup starts – but Deschamps did not need to take that risk.

Left wing: Anthony Martial 

With no goals or assists since February and a place firmly on the fringes of the Manchester United first team picture, Martial loses out on a place in the 23 to players with smaller reputations but better recent records, such as Nabil Fekir and Florian Thauvin.

Anthony Martial's recent dip in form has cost him a squad place at the finals in Russia

Anthony Martial's recent dip in form has cost him a squad place at the finals in Russia

Anthony Martial’s recent dip in form has cost him a squad place at the finals in Russia

Centre forward: Karim Benzema

The Real Madrid striker is not in the squad for more complicated reasons than form on the pitch. He has not featured for France since his alleged part in a blackmailing plot against team mate Mathieu Valbuena. Although cleared, it looks certain the controversy will prevent Benzema from representing his country again.

Substitutes: Stephane Ruffier, Layvin Kurzawa, Kurt Zouma, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Paul-Georges Ntep, Wissam Ben Yedder, Bafetimbi Gomis

Karim Benzema has not played for France since 2015 due to a blackmail scandal

Karim Benzema has not played for France since 2015 due to a blackmail scandal

Karim Benzema has not played for France since 2015 due to a blackmail scandal

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