January 25, 2022

Post-World Cup: Deschamps backs Lloris, recalls ‘retired’ Rami

August 30, 2018
Hugo Lloris, France and Tottenham goalkeeper

France coach Didier Deschamps gave his firm backing to Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and recalled “retired” defender Adil Rami as he named his first post-World Cup squad ahead of two Nations League matches.

Barely six weeks after their triumphant World Cup campaign in Russia, France face Germany on September 6 and the Netherlands three days later as part of the Nations League competition which has replaced the traditional friendlies.

If fans expected Deschamps to punish Lloris over a recent drink driving charge — he was arrested on Friday morning in London before being released on bail and will face a magistrates’ court hearing on September 11 — they will be disappointed.

Deschamps gave the 31-year-old World Cup winner his full backing after naming a largely unchanged squad from the one that triumphed 4-2 over Croatia in Moscow on July 8.

“I’ve spoken with him, he realises his mistake and he’s sorry for it,” Deschamps told reporters on Thursday.

“He knows only too well that it shouldn’t happen, but it happened and it’s not going to change what I think about him and the Hugo Lloris that I’ve always known.”

Lloris, who was also given the backing of Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino before their 3-0 win at Manchester United on Monday, was never likely to be ousted by Deschamps, who has replaced injured Marseille ‘keeper Steve Mandanda on his list with Bordeaux shot-stopper Benoit Costil.

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A bigger surprise was Marseille defender Rami, who announced — “with a certain degree of euphoria”, said Deschamps — his international retirement on the night of France’s World Cup victory.

Despite being a substitute for most of the tournament, Deschamps said he was still counting on the 32-year-old defender.

“I’ve talked to him about it and this first get-together will give us the chance to discuss things in more detail,” said Deschamps.

“He’ll have the final decision, obviously, but from the moment he’s playing well, he’s at a top French club, then for me he’s still competitive.

“Anyway, he was very happy about the call-up and didn’t hesitate one second.”

Deschamps’ squad will feature all of the players who starred in the final, where Antoine Griezmann gave Les Bleus a 2-1 lead from the penalty spot before further goals from Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe sealed their second World Cup victory 30 years after triumphing at home.

Griezmann’s performances throughout a tournament that saw Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and Lionel Messi’s Argentina exit before the latter stages, have put him in contention for this year’s Ballon d’Or — even though the Atletico Madrid forward was noticeably omitted by teammate Mbappe when he was asked to name his candidates during a recent interview.

Deschamps added: “I don’t know whether Kylian really believes that (Griezmann is not in contention), but I don’t think so.

“Obviously Antoine is among the players likely to be awarded the Ballon d’Or.”

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France’s 23-man squad for Nations League fixtures against Germany and the Netherlands on September 6 and 9 respectively:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ENG), Benoit Costil (Bordeaux), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germanin).

Defenders: Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint Germain), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City/ENG), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart/GER), Adil Rami (Marseille), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona/ESP), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP).

Midfielders: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus/ITA), Steven N’Zonzi (Roma/ITA), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich/GER).

Forwards: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona/ESP), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Florian Thauvin (Marseille).

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