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Kante handed shock France recall for Euro 2024

Al-Ittihad midfielder N'Golo Kante will go to Germany with France for Euro 2024

N'Golo Kante

N’Golo Kante was the surprise inclusion in Didier Deschamps’ France squad for this summer’s European Championship.

The midfielder has not played for Les Bleus since June 2022 and, having moved from Chelsea to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad, it was thought his international career was over.

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But having proved his fitness in the Middle East, the 33-year-old was this evening handed a shock recall for the tournament in Germany this summer.

Deschamps explained: “I am convinced the French team will be stronger [with him in it].

“He has played a full season, albeit not in a European league as he is in Saudi Arabia. But he has regained his physical capabilities. And with his experience, he will make us stronger.”

Uncapped Paris Saint-Germain winger Bradley Barcola was also included, as was his 18-year-old club team-mate Warren Zaïre-Emery.

Aurelien Tchouameni and Kingsley Coman secured spots despite concerns about their fitness.

There was no place, however, for Nice centre-half Jean Clair Todibo, Chelsea defender Axel Disasi or Crystal Palace midfielder Michael Olise.

Deschamps, who has named 25 players so far, one fewer than the 26 permitted, added: “It seems logical that we are among the favourites. Eight European teams are in the top 10 places in the FIFA rankings. It shows the level of the Euros.”

France, who have not won the Euros since 2000, take on Austria, the Netherlands and Poland in the group stage.

The squad in full:

Areola (West Ham), Maignan (Milan), Samba (Lens); Clauss (Marseille), T Hernandez (Milan), Konaté (Liverpool), Koundé (Barcelona), Mendy (Real Madrid), Pavard (Inter), Saliba (Arsenal), Upamecano (Bayern Munich); Camavinga (Real Madrid), Fofana (Monaco), Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Kanté (Al-Ittihad), Rabiot (Juventus), Tchouaméni (Real Madrid), Zaïre-Emery (PSG); Barcola (PSG), Coman (Bayern Munich), Dembélé (PSG), Giroud (Milan), Kolo Muani (PSG), Mbappé (PSG), Thuram (Inter)

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Jon Fisher

Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.