Marseille star Dimitri Payet was left out of France’s World Cup squad announced by coach Didier Deschamps on Thursday, completing a miserable 24 hours for the playmaker.
The former West Ham United player was forced off with a hamstring injury in the first half of Marseille’s Europa League final defeat against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, and that fitness doubt persuaded Deschamps to leave him out of the squad of 23.
“Dimitri Payet was a serious candidate for a place in the squad. He played the first half-hour (against Atletico), but he aggravated his injury, and the recovery time needed for that type of injury is three weeks,” Deschamps said after revealing his squad live on television station TF1’s evening news programme.
“But as it is a muscle injury, there is a risk of a relapse.”
Payet was one of France’s stars at Euro 2016, when they reached the final as hosts before losing to Portugal.
But he has also fallen victim to the number of attacking options available to Deschamps, who did call up Payet’s Marseille team-mate Florian Thauvin along with the excellent Lyon captain Nabil Fekir.
Elsewhere, Manchester City left-back Benjamin Mendy was called up despite having hardly featured for Pep Guardiola’s side since returning from a serious knee injury.
France open their World Cup campaign against Australia in the Russian city of Kazan on June 16.
The 1998 World Cup winners will also take on Peru and Denmark in Group C.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain)
Defenders: Lucas Hernandez (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City/ENG), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart/GER), Adil Rami (Marseille), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona/ESP), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP)
Midfielders: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus/ITA), Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla/ESP), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich/GER)
Forwards: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona/ESP), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Thomas Lemar (Monaco), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Florian Thauvin (Marseille)
11-man reserve list
Goalkeeper: Benoit Costil (Bordeaux)
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Saint-Etienne), Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace/ENG), Kurt Zouma (Stoke City/ENG – on loan from Chelsea/ENG), Lucas Digne (Barcelona/ESP)
Midfielders: Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG)
Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla/ESP), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich/GER), Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal/ENG), Anthony Martial (Manchester United/ENG)