Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was omitted from the France squad announced Thursday for next month’s Nations League matches against Sweden and Croatia after testing positive for Covid-19, coach Didier Deschamps said.
World Cup winner Pogba has been replaced by teenager Eduardo Camavinga, who was called up for the first time alongside Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.
“Unfortunately he underwent a test yesterday (Wednesday) which was revealed to be positive this morning,” Deschamps said of Pogba’s absence from the group.
United wished the 27-year-old Pogba a “speedy recovery” in a statement on the club’s website.
According to statisticians Opta, Camavinga, at 17 years and nine months, could become the youngest player for France since World War II. He would also be the first player to appear for Les Bleus born in the 2000s.
“He has potential which will lead him to be an integral part of this team sooner or later,” said Deschamps.
Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot was also recalled for the first time in over two years after he refused to go on the standby list for the 2018 World Cup.
“He’s found a very good level again. We can’t go back, I’m not someone who likes to take radical decisions. He remained selectable,” explained Deschamps.
Blaise Matuidi, 33, was overlooked following his recent move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami in Major League Soccer as Deschamps decided to explore some younger options in midfield.
Meanwhile, Anthony Martial is in line for his first France cap since March 2018 after hitting a career-best 23 goals for United last term.
Kylian Mbappe was one of two Paris Saint-Germain players included alongside defender Presnel Kimpembe, both starters in last weekend’s Champions League final defeat by Bayern Munich in Lisbon.
However, Paris-born Kingsley Coman, who scored the winning goal for Bayern in their 1-0 victory, will be given an extended rest as well as club team-mates Corentin Tolisso and Benjamin Pavard.
Left-back Lucas Hernandez used sparingly by Bayern in Portugal has been called up.
France will travel to Sweden for their opening Nations League game on September 5 before returning home to play Croatia three days later. Their last international was the 2-0 victory over Albania on November 17.
In Other News – Cold front brings snowfalls on Table Mountain and Sutherland
A spokesperson for the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company said there was so much excitement about it, adding there was sometimes sleet, but heavier snow was quite rare.
Snow fell on Table Mountain in Cape Town on Saturday, as residents bundled up as a cold front settled over the city and surrounds.
”It was amazing,” said Lorenzo Galant of the flurries on Saturday. continue reading
Source – eNCA