Mbappe, Thuram brothers in France squad for Euro qualifiers

Brothers Khephren and Marcus Thuram were called up by France coach Didier Deschamps for the forthcoming Euro qualifiers against the Netherlands and Ireland on Thursday, alongside star Kylian Mbappe.

They are the sons of former French defender Lilian Thuram, who played alongside Deschamps when France won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship.

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It’s the second time Deschamps has called up brothers to his squad. Lucas and Theo Hernandez played for France at the World Cup in Qatar last year, along with striker Marcus Thuram.

Marcus Thuram is the older brother of 21-year-old midfielder Khephren, who was called up for the first time after impressing with French club Nice this season.

France host the Netherlands at the Stade de France on March 24 and play Ireland in Dublin three days later.

France lost the 2022 World Cup final on penalties after a 3-3 draw with Argentina, who defeated the Netherlands on penalties in a thrilling quarterfinal match.

Veteran goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and centre-back Raphaël Varane, both world champions in 2018, left the national team after losing to Argentina.

Deschamps is making some changes to his squad, signing Lens goalkeeper Brice Samba and Chelsea centre-back Wesley Fofana for the first time.

With Lloris now retired, Deschamps will have to choose a new captain, with Paris Saint-Germain striker Mbappe one of the leading contenders. Mbappe became only the second player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final as France lost to Argentina.

Deschamps refused to answer questions about Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema, who, as expected, was left out of the squad after a row between them.

Benzema left the World Cup in Qatar with a leg injury. He has since denied the version of events given by Deschamps in a newspaper interview with cryptic messages and emojis online.

“I don’t look at social media,” said Deschamps, adding that he would not comment further on Benzema.

Full France squad:

goalkeeper: Mike Maignan (AC Milan), Alphonse Areola (West Ham United), Brice Samba (Lens)

defender: Theo Hernandez (AC Milan), Jules Kounde (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich), Wesley Fofana (Chelsea), Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich), Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid), William Saliba (Arsenal), Ibrahima Konate ( Liverpool)

midfield player: Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid), Youssouf Fofana (Monaco), Khephren Thuram (Nice), Jordan Veretout (Marseille)

Forward: Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Olivier Giroud (AC Milan), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Moussa Diaby (Bayer Leverkusen), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Marcus Thuram (Borussia Moenchengladbach) Mbappe, Thuram brothers in France squad for Euro qualifiers

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