Varane makes France squad
Manchester United defender Raphael Varane has been selected in France's World Cup squad for Qatar, as Les Blues look to repeat their triumph of 2018 in Russia.
Varane has not been involved in any of United's last four games, with Erik ten Hag having ruled him out of action until the tournament begins after he suffered a thigh injury at Chelsea on 22 October.
The 29-year-old was initially feared to be a doubt for Didier Deschamps' side, with France's first game of their title defence, against Australia, taking place exactly a month on from our trip to Stamford Bridge.
However, Varane has been named as part of France's 25-man selection, and this will be his third World Cup after he also competed in 2014 and 2018.
Rapha started four of France's five matches at the 2014 competition in Brazil and was shortlisted for the Best Young Player award, as Les Blues were knocked out in the quarter-finals by eventual winners Germany.
He played every minute in Russia, scoring in the quarter-final win over Uruguay before France beat Belgium in the semis and then Croatia in the final to become world champions for the second time.
Varane was also selected in the tournament's All-Star Team and his inclusion will come as a boost to the holders, who are missing a couple of key players from their success four years ago.
Former Red Paul Pogba has already been ruled out, due to the meniscus problem which has prevented him from featuring so far on his return to Juventus.
Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante, who partnered Pogba in midfield last time round, hasn't recovered from a hamstring injury in time to feature.
Anthony Martial, who has 30 caps for France under Deschamps, is not on the list.
FRANCE’S FULL SQUAD
Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Alphonse Areola; William Saliba, Ibrahima Konate, Dayot Upamecano, Raphael Varane, Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez, Theo Hernandez, Jules Kounde, Presnel Kimpembe; Aurelien Tchouameni, Youssouf Fofana, Adrien Rabiot, Matteo Guendouzi, Jordan Veretout, Eduardo Camavinga; Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Kingsley Coman, Christopher Nkunku, Olivier Giroud.
GROUP D FIXTURES
22 November (19:00 GMT): France v Australia
26 November (16:00 GMT): France v Denmark
30 November (15:00 GMT): Tunisia v France