Football: N'Golo Kante makes long-awaited return as France announces squad for Euro 2024

World champion N'Golo Kante will make a surprise return to international football as France coach Didier Deschamps announced Thursday the 25 players that will make up the French squad at Euro 2024.

Kante left English side Chelsea last summer to join Saudi club Al Ittihad and has not represented France since June 2022.

"He played a full season (Kante struggled with injury during his time with Chelsea), albeit not in a European league, as he is in Saudi Arabia," said Deschamps on French TV channel TF1.

"He's back to full fitness. With his experience, I'm convinced that the French team will be stronger with N'Golo Kante."

The 2018 World Cup winner was the big surprise in Deschamps' squad, but the 33-year-old's experience will doubtless be a help to youngsters Warren Zaire-Emery and Bradley Barcola, who also made the squad after fine seasons at Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

Winger Barcola, 21, is the only uncapped player in the squad but forced his way in with a strong finish to the season, impressing particularly with his performances in the knock-out stages of the Champions League against Real Sociedad and Barcelona.

After a stunning breakthrough season at PSG, Zaire-Emery earned his first call-up in November of last year, marking the occasion with a goal in a 14-0 rout of Gibraltar.


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