Aurélien Tchouaméni and Theo Hernández both missed France’s training session on Friday 16 December due to injury and are now doubtful for the final against Argentina on Sunday. The two now join a long list of French players who are not confirmed to be able to play in the showpiece event at the Lusail Stadium.
The Real Madrid midfielder picked up a hip injury while the AC Milan left-back is suffering from a knock to the knee. Duo Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano missed the semi-final victory over Morocco with Camel Flu and today it has been reported that centre-back pair Rahaël Varane and Ibrahima Konaté have also taken ill with symptoms of the virus.
❌ Tchouameni y Theo Hernández no se entrenan con Francia a dos días de enfrentarse a Argentina. El mediocentro del Real Madrid tiene una contusión en la cadera y el lateral izquierdo un golpe en la rodilla. Tampoco están Varane, Coman y Konaté por resfriado. pic.twitter.com/EDCxcUYGeA
— Andrés Onrubia Ramos (@AndiOnrubia) December 16, 2022
France’s injury woes continue
Les Blues came into the World Cup with a depleted squad and since then, things have not taken an upwards turn at any moment. Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema left the Qatar training camp and returned to Madrid before the tournament began due to an injury, and although some reports suspect he might be in line for a sensational return before the final, boss Didier Deschamps all but ruled out the possibility.
Midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté were also ruled out before the tournament due to injury. The pair, who were key to France’s World Cup success in 2018, suffered injuries on the eve on the tournament and had to stay at home.
Added to the injury list is Christopher Nkunku. The RB Leipzig had performed amazingly well in the both the domestic and Champions League competitions, but was denied an appearance at the World Cup after suffering a knee injury in training after a clash with teammate Eduardo Camavinga.
Presnel Kimpembe’s worst fears were realised when it was revealed he had suffered an achilles tendon injury shortly before the tournament. Theo’s brother Lucas Hernández would join Presnel at the injured defenders table during the World Cup: his World Cup dream ended 13 minutes into France’s debut game against Australia, a ruptured cruciate ligament the diagnosis.
All in all, much has been made of Argentina’s fairytale story to the final, with Leo Messi looking to emulate Maradona in 1986 and lift the World Cup trophy for the South American nation. However, if France manage to pull off the victory and secure their 2nd consecutive World Cup win, it will also have to be told with the magical story of squad perseverance behind it.