playing time, transfers, retirements… a month after the lost final, of which the Blues have been 26

It happened a month ago: the French team lost the 2022 World Cup final against Lionel Messi’s Argentina. Since then, the national championship has regained its rights. A small update on the Blues’ recovery.

It happened a month ago: the French team lost on penalties in the 2022 World Cup final in Qatar, against Lionel Messi’s Argentina. And in a few weeks, a lot has changed in the group of 26 players selected for the competition. Back at the club, some have had a game-time hiatus, others have had to organize their futures.

They return to good habits

They were 15 years old having returned to the club as they had finished a month and a half earlier. Among them, some have made a comeback. For others, it is more difficult …

Holders as soon as available, Ousmane Dembélé (two goals) and Jules Koundé won the Spanish Super Cup with Barça. Antoine Griezmann (Atlético) and Jordan Veretout (OM) showed the lead with three assists and two goals respectively. Raphaël Varane (Manchester United) and William Lilina (Arsenal) are both unbeaten with their respective clubs across the Channel. The two centre-backs have kept two clean sheets in four matches.

Mandanda (OM), Rabiot (Juve), Giroud (AC Milan), Disasi (Monaco), Théo Hernandez (AC Milan) and Fofana (Monaco) continued their starting positions, without being flamboyant. Kylian Mbappé (PSG) returned to training very quickly but took advantage of the break at the start of January. One goal in three games since returning to Paris. Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) and Ibrahima Konaté (Liverpool) also started but endured a difficult start to the month scoring an own goal each.

They had a hard time finding a place

The three of them are fighting to win, just like before the World Cup. Alphonse Areola still hasn’t played a game with West Ham since late December. The second goalkeeper of the London club, France is followed by Lukasz Fabianski in the hierarchy.

Both Madrid players Aurélien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga are both in rotation with Merengues. The former Monegasque did not participate in the Spanish Super Cup while the former Rennes player has taken part in five matches since his return, without being a potential starter.

They are waiting for the return of the Bundesliga

Dayot Upamecano and Kingsley Coman quietly await the restart of the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich this weekend. Lucas Hernandez, injured in the first game of the World Cup (rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament of the right knee), will not be returning to compete with his team-mates this season.

They can go this winter

The four finalists from the last World Cup are likely to leave for new horizons this winter. Benjamin Pavard (Bayern) and Mattéo Guendouzi (OM) are the two players most cited for possible departures, attracting FC Barcelona and Juventus for one, Aston Villa for the other.

Randal Kolo Muani (Frankfurt) and Marcus Thuram (Gladbach) scored points in Qatar and caught the eye of some of Europe’s biggest clubs. However they should remain at their club this winter, barring an extraordinary offer.

In addition to managing possible injuries, Didier Deschamps had to rack his brains to compile a list of March rally, especially as a goalkeeper. Hugo Lloris and Steve Amanda announced their international retirement a few days apart. Karim Benzema has also made his international retirement official after a tumultuous end to 2022 with the French team and in particular the coach.

The Benzema case

Karim Benzema, despite not participating in this World Cup having withdrawn due to injury in training before the start of the competition, was indeed part of the group of 26 that was originally announced. The case is special. Real Madrid’s number 9, who was back in action at the White House even before the Qatar tournament ended, quickly found the net, scoring five goals in four games. But most importantly, he ended his run with the Blues, after weeks of rumors surrounding tensions over his package.

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