The Senegalese hoped until the end. They finally had to resign themselves to cashing in on the package from their leader Sadio Mané, who was hit quite badly in the knee. He was also operated on in Innsbruck on Thursday evening to reattach a tendon to the head of the right fibula. The striker can now begin his rehabilitation with his club Bayern Munich for an unavailability period of at least two months.
Like Sadio Mané, many other (very) good players are not traveling to Qatar. It is also possible to compose a rather competitive eleven of these injured who will have to support their partners from the infirmary of their club. Judge instead.
The eleven of packages
In goal, Frenchman Mike Maignan logically settles after his excellent last season at AC Milan. Without his calf injury, he could even have shaken up the hierarchy of the goalkeepers of the France team, going to titillate Hugo Lloris. In front of him, the defensive quartet is all dressed in blue: three players from Chelsea (the English Reece James and Ben Chilwell), including a Frenchman (Wesley Fofana) accompanied by another Blue from PSG (Presnel Kimpembe). The middle trio is also very blue, with the French Paul Pogba (Manchester United) and N’Golo Kanté (Chelsea). Alongside the duo of world champions who leave a big void in the selection of Didier Deschamps, we opted for the Argentinian Giovanni Lo Celso, who was particularly famous last season in the Champions League with Villarreal.
In front of them, a trio of Bundesliga form the attack: the Bavarian Sadio Mané (Senegal), accompanied by the two forwards of Leizpig Timo Werner (Germany) and Christopher Nkunku (France). We could also have included in this eleven players like Diogo Jota (Portugal / Liverpool), Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands / AS Roma), Marco Reus (Germany / Dortmund), Philippe Coutinho (Aston Villa / Brazil), or even the Argentinian Joaquin Correa (Inter), who has also just withdrawn, along with two players from Valencia: his compatriot Nico Gonzalez and the Spaniard José Gaya.
The Eleven of the Forgotten
For this 2022 World Cup, the coaches were entitled to three additional names in their list. And despite this, they obviously still disappointed many people. Including several big names who were however regulars, even executives of their national team.
As goalkeeper of our eleven-type, we have opted for David De Gea. The Spanish goalkeeper of Manchester United is obviously no longer part of the plans of Luis Enrique, who has not called him since November 2021. A bit like Sergio Ramos, the selection record holder with La Roja who nevertheless came back in force with PSG this season. The 2010 world champion takes up defense alongside a 2014 world champion: the German Mats Hümmels. On the sides, there are two Frenchmen: Madrid’s Ferland Mendy and Marseille’s Jonathan Clauss.
The midfield is 100% Iberian with two Spaniards – Fabian Ruiz and Thiago Alcantara – accompanied by a Portuguese: Renato Sanches. All three were regular conscripts from their country. But they had to face competition, like the attacking trio chosen: Jadon Sancho (England / Manchester United), Roberto Firmino (Brazil / Liverpool) and Wissam Ben Yedder (France / Monaco).
On the fictitious bench of this team, we could summon other renowned players: Marcos Alonso (FC Barcelona), Robin Gosens (Inter Milan), Lucas Digne (Aston Villa), Gabriel (Arsenal), Fikayo Tomori (AC Milan) , Ryan Gravenberch (Bayern Munich), but also the Belgians Dodi Lukebakio, Divock Origi or Alexis Saelemaekers.