France Euro 2020 profile: Fixtures and squad as Karim Benzema returns to create forward line with Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann for World Cup champions

France have announced their 26-player squad for European Championship this summer, with Karim Benzema making his much anticipated return following a scandal back in 2015.

Coming off the back of a 2018 World Cup victory, their second-ever title, the Blues will believe they have what it takes to win even more international silverware. 

Kylian Mbappe was one of the stars of the 2018 World Cup
Corbis – Getty

After a disappointing defeat against Portugal in the 2016 European Championship final, this summer could be their chance for revenge.

France has one of the best squads heading into the tournament, with no real weaknesses and star players in every position. 

With Benzema in fine form, a potential link-up with Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann will strike fear into defenders. 

France, though, have got one of the hardest groups in the Euros, and will need to be at their very best to get one over Germany and Portugal.

France have performed brilliantly over the past few years

The squad

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Mike Maignan (Milan), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris), Jules Kounde (Sevilla), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona), Benjamin Pavard (Bayern), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Kurt Zouma (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Kingsley Coman (Bayern), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Thomas Lemar (Atlético Madrid), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern)

Forwards: Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Marcus Thuram (Monchengladbach)

The star man: Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe has scored 16 goals in 41 games for France
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It’s been another fantastic season for Mbappe, as he tallied 41 goals and 11 assists in 46 appearances in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain.

At just 22 years-old the forward will be leading the line for France, something he’s already proven he can do in a major tournament after scoring four goals at the 2018 World Cup.

Mbappe has been linked with a transfer this summer, with Liverpool and Real Madrid possible destinations, but any move would be one of the most expensive transfers of all time. 

The PSG superstar’s pace and knack for goalscoring will line up perfectly with Benzema and Griezmann.

Many believe the front three has the potential to be one of the best attacking forces the Euros has ever seen.

The one to look out for: Jules Kounde

Kounde is still waiting for his first France cap
Getty Images – Getty

The youngster is yet to make an appearance for the French international squad just yet but don’t hold that against him. 

The Sevilla defender has a bright future ahead of him and is already being linked with a £56million transfer to Manchester United. 

Kounde has represented France at Under-20 and Under-21 level several times, impressing on each occasion.

He did enough to earn the respect of gaffer Didier Deschamps, which is not easy as the manager is notoriously ruthless with his selections. 

At the age of 22 big things are in the horizon for the youngster, and a successful Euro 2020 could see his value sky rocket. 

The manager: Didier Deschamps

Deschamps has already brought glory to France
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Didier Deschamps has been a polarizing figure since his appointment in 2012, but one thing nobody can deny is his success. 

Criticized at first for his conservative tactics and controversial omissions Deschamps has brought France their second World Cup medal and are in a great position to get even more silverware this summer. 

All eyes will be on the man who is only one of three people to win a World Cup as a manager and a player to deliver. 

Deschamps opted to only select players who will “gel as a cohesive unit”, and with the wealth of depth France have, and his squad fully fit in many ways it’s France’s Euros to lose.

The fixtures

All games live on talkSPORT

June 15 – France vs Germany 20:00 (Euro 2020, Group F)

June 19 – France vs Hungary 14:00 (Euro 2020, Group F)

June 23 – France vs Portugal 20:00 (Euro 2020, Group F)