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2022 World Cup | Confirmed: Paul Pogba to miss France’s title defence in Qatar

Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps will now be without both of his starting midfielders from the 2018 World Cup final, with Pogba joining N’Golo Kanté on the absentee list

France is set to defend their crown as top dogs on the international stage at the 2022 World Cup in just three weeks’ time but will have to do it without mercurial star midfielder Paul Pogba.

As confirmed by multiple outlets including ESPN’s Julien Laurens, the player’s agent made official the absence of the 28-year-old Juventus midfielder who has not yet fully recovered from an ongoing injury issue that was hit with another setback after his return to training.

Now carrying a thigh issue that will have him out of action for at least three weeks, Rafaela Pimenta has confirmed to French outlet Téléfoot (quotes provided by Get French Football) that Pogba needed time off to recover fully.

“Paul would like to return as quickly as he can but he has to arm himself with patience, work hard in these difficult times, and give his best to be back on the pitch for the fans and his team as soon as possible.”

Pogba becomes the second star player whose presence in Qatar cannot be called upon for France boss Didier Deschamps after Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté was dealt a serious injury setback and is out of action for the Blues until the new year.

This now means that Les Bleus will be stripped of the starting midfield pair that played a key role in France lifting its second World Cup trophy – both involving Deschamps as a player and coach – and leaving the 54-year-old with a big call regarding who he will rely on in Qatar.

With a player pool that is arguably the deepest in the world at the time of writing, though their absences may be felt, if any nation can tackle such a crisis, it’s France.


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Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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