France World Cup 2022 squad list, results history and final team news

Griezmann and Mbappe – Mike Egerton/PA

France will take on Argentina in the World Cup final after beating Morocco 2-0 in an absorbing semi-final on Wednesday to stay on course for a successful title defence and end the fairytale run of the North Africans in Qatar.

Theo Hernandez scored in the fifth minute in a perfect start for the holders, but it still proved a close-run clash as Morocco overcame injury blows and took the game to their opponents.

France settled the match with a second goal 11 minutes from time as substitute Randal Kolo Muani, with his first touch after coming on, a tap-in at the back post.

For the first goal, Hernandez had to lift his left foot high to connect with a bouncing ball from a tight angle to finish off a sweeping move started by Antoine Griezmann’s run down the right and a cutback pass that Kylian Mbappe initially fluffed.

Mbappe was the creator of the second as he attempted first to dribble through the Morocco defence and then shot, his effort blocked but falling for Kolo Muani to net.

Olivier Giroud struck the post and missed from point-blank range in the first half at the end of a barnstorming run through the middle from Aurelien Tchouameni.

The midfielder threaded a superb ball to find Mbappe, whose miscued shot was poorly cleared, allowing Giroud a first-time shot which was wide from close-in.

But Morocco opportunities as Azzedine Ounahi forced two good saves out of French captain Hugo Lloris with speculative efforts, and curling set-pieces put the French defence under pressure.

The north Africans were hit hard by injuries to their key centre-backs with the gamble of naming Nayef Aguerd in the starting line up failing to come off as he hurt his hamstring in the warm-up and skipper Romain Saiss having to go off after 20 minutes.

Replacement centre back Jawad El Yamiq was, however, closest to an equaliser with a spectacular bicycle kick on the stroke of halftime, from a poorly cleared corner by the French, with Lloris getting a vital touch as it hit the base of the upright.

France’s victory has set up the tantalising prospect of a decisive clash between Argentina’s Lionel Messi and France’s Mbappe.

France World Cup 2022 squad

France announced their 26-man squad on November 9, and named five Premier League starters: William Saliba, who has contributed to Arsenal’s dazzling form this season, Raphael Varane, Alphonse Areola, Ibrahima Konate and captain Hugo Lloris.

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (West Ham), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Rennes)

Defenders: Lucas Hernandez (Bayern Munich), Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris St-Germain), Ibrahima Konate (Liverpool), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), William Saliba (Arsenal), Dayot Upamencano (Bayern Munich), Raphael Varane (Manchester United)

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Jordan Veretout (Marseille)

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kinglsey Coman (Bayern Munich), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Kylian Mbappe (Paris St-Germain), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt), Marcus Thuram, (Borussia Monchengladbach)

What are France’s fixtures?

France will play Argentina in the final of the World Cup in Qatar. The match will be played at the Lusail Iconic Stadium on Sunday, December 18, kick off at 3pm (GMT).

What is France’s World Cup record?

France are defending champions, having beaten Croatia 4-2 in the 2018 final at the end of a near faultless run, including victories over Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium.

That was their second World Cup victory following the Zinedine Zidane-inspired triumph, when he scored twice in a 3-0 battering of Brazil in the 1998 final.

However, it was arguably the great midfielder’s head-first assault on Marco Materazzi and subsequent sending off that cost his side in the 2006 final, which Italy went on to win on penalties.

Zinedine Zidane toppled Marco Materazzi with a now-infamous headbutt - Reuters/Peter Schols

Zinedine Zidane toppled Marco Materazzi with a now-infamous headbutt – Reuters/Peter Schols

France boast some of the most talented players in the world and possess a particularly fearsome attack. They should ease through their group yet, while it would be unwise to rule them out of winning it again, France have a history of implosion on the international stage. Additionally, no team has managed back-to-back world titles since Brazil in 1958 and 1962.

Argentina | Australia | Belgium | Brazil | Cameroon | Canada | Costa Rica | Croatia | Denmark | Ecuador | England | France | Germany | Ghana | Iran | Japan | Mexico | Morocco | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Serbia | South Korea | Spain | Switzerland | Tunisia | Uruguay | USA | Wales

What are the latest odds?

Kylian Mbappe to win the Golden Boot in Qatar? Find the latest top scorer odds here for the Frenchman

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