France’s World Cup Winners Given Golden Reception As They Are Honoured With Mat With Two Gold Stars Upon Return Ahead Of Nations League Games Against Germany And Holland

Atletico Madrid team-mates Thomas Lemar (left), Antoine Greizmann (centre) and Lucas Hernandez (right) are all in the France squad

It is less than two months since France were crowned World Cup winners as they beat Croatia in the final at the Luzhniki Stadium, and that triumph certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry. 

France are back in action as they prepare for games away to Germany and at home to Holland in the new UEFA Nations League.

Coach Didier Deschamps has kept faith with the vast majority of the squad that won the World Cup, and the players were given a golden reception as they returned to the national team base at Clairefontaine on Monday.

Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has 31 caps for France, arrives at Clairefontaine

Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy will be looking to get more minutes under his belt

Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain starred for France in their World Cup success

Ousmane Dembele, in fine form with Barcelona at club level, is the next to arrive

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud was joined by Roma's Steven N'Zonzi as he arrived at the base

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was in good spirits as he arrived for France training

The France stars, including Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, noticed some changes at Clairefontaine, with two stars on the floor outside the entrance, denoting the country’s World Cup wins, the first of which came in 1998.

Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe, who enjoyed such an impressive World Cup, seemed in good spirits as he arrived, as did Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy.

Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann was also present along with Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Eager to continue with the players who were so impressive in Russia, Deschamps made just one alteration to his squad for the upcoming games, and that was enforced, with injured goalkeeper Steve Mandanda being replaced by Benoit Costil.

There were some notable omissions from Deschamps’ squad, including Anthony Martial, Alexandre Lacazette and Dimitri Payet, but the players that have been selected will be eager to keep their winning momentum going.

FRANCE SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Benoit Costil (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain).

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

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

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

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