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Marseille bad boy Matteo Guendouzi called up by France for Nations League Finals

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Olivier Giroud is left out of the France squad AGAIN by Didier Deschamps but Marseille bad boy Matteo Guendouzi could win his first cap after being called up for Nations League Finals

  • Didier Deschamps named his 23-man squad for the Nations League Finals
  • The France boss selected Matteo Guendouzi with N’Golo Kante out with Covid
  • AC Milan striker Olivier Giroud was left out but Man United have three call-ups 


France have again left out striker Olivier Giroud as coach Didier Deschamps on Thursday named his squad for next month’s Nations League Final Four tournament in Italy.

The 35-year-old Giroud, France’s second-top all-time scorer, has had more playing time since joining AC Milan from Chelsea, but was not included in the squad for the second consecutive time after missing the World Cup qualifiers earlier this month.

However, Les Bleus, who face Belgium in the semi-finals next Thursday at the Juventus Stadium in Turin, welcome back defenders Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard, who feature with their Bayern Munich team mate Dayot Upamecano.

Guendouzi is dividing opinion at Marseille but has a chance to make his mark

Deschamps made a number of interesting squad selections

Matteo Guendouzi (left) has been called up by France boss Didier Deschamps (right) for the final four of the Nations League. Guendouzi is yet to win a senior cap with the national team

Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi was called up as Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante is missing after testing positive for COVID-19.

‘There’s a 10-day isolation period so he would not have been able to train and he was also just out of an injury layoff,’ Deschamps said.

‘It’s best for him that he uses that period to recover his physical freshness.’

Guendouzi joined Marseille on loan from Arsenal earlier this summer and has been praised for his brilliant performances in Ligue 1 so far this season.

Guendouzi angrily confronted Brazilian team-mate Gerson during their 3-2 defeat by Lens

Guendouzi angrily confronted Brazilian team-mate Gerson during their 3-2 defeat by Lens

But the hot-headed Frenchman is beginning to grate on some after he confronted team-mate Gerson on the pitch during their 3-2 defeat by Lens at the weekend.

According to French news outlet L’Equipe, Guendouzi approached his team-mate and asked ‘when are you going to start running’, which has angered a number of other Marseille players in the dressing room.

And while Guendouzi’s fiery passion is accepted on the south coast of France, other Marseille players have reportedly grown tired of the midfielder’s actions and criticisms during training. 

Keeper Steve Mandanda was omitted after losing his spot in the starting lineup at Marseille, with Benoit Costil coming in.

Hosts Italy face Spain in the other semi-final on Wednesday. 

Olivier Giroud, now at AC Milan, found himself omitted from Deschamps' squad once more

Olivier Giroud, now at AC Milan, found himself omitted from Deschamps’ squad once more 

FRANCE’S 23-MAN SQUAD IN FULL

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Benoit Costil (Girondins de Bordeaux)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Olympique Lyonnais), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris St Germain), Jules Kounde (Sevilla), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Matteo Guendouzi (Olympique de Marseille), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Monaco), Jordan Veretout (Roma)

Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St Germain)

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