France 2018 World Cup squad - Who were the players and where are they now?

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France World Cup 2018
The French bounced back from losing the Euro 2016 final by doing one better at the World Cup in Russia

France won their second World Cup title in 2018 as they beat Croatia 4-2 in the final at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Les Bleus won six out of their seven World Cup games to be crowned champions, defeating Argentina (4-3), Uruguay (2-0) and Belgium (1-0) in the round of 16, quarter-final and semi-final respectively.

The final between France and Croatia saw the champions take the lead in the 18th minute via Mario Mandzukic’s own goal.

Croatia came back into the match with Ivan Perisic’s strike in the 28th minute, though. 

France eventually took the match away from the Croatians when Antoine Griezmann converted a penalty in the 38th minute and then Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe scored in the 59th and 65th minute respectively.

Mandzukic then scored a consolation goal for his side late on.

Who were France’s World Cup winning players and what has happened to them since?

  1. Hugo Lloris - Goalkeeper

    Hugo Lloris - Goalkeeper

    France's No.1 has been playing for Tottenham Hotspur since 2012, having previously represented the likes of Nice and Lyon in Ligue 1.

    He has had some difficult moments in recent years at both club and international level, but remains the undisputed first-choice goalkeeper for Spurs and France.

  2. Benjamin Pavard - Right-back

    Benjamin Pavard - Right-back

    When you say Pavard, you say wondergoal against Argentina. An absolute beauty of a strike. Period.

    The versatile defender played for Lille and Stuttgart before joining Bayern Munich in 2019, where he currently plies his trade.

    Pavard is no longer quite the undisputed starter he once was at Bayern following the arrival of Noussair Mazraoui, but remains an important first-team member at the Bundesliga giants.

    At international level, he continues to be the main man down the right, whether that's in a traditional right-back role or slightly higher up the pitch in a 3-4-3 formation.

  3. Raphael Varane - Centre-back

    Raphael Varane - Centre-back

    The defender joined Real Madrid from Lens in 2011 and spent 10 seasons at the club, before he moved to Manchester United in 2021.

    After a somewhat underwhelming first season at Old Trafford, Varane is now a key figure at the back alongside Lisandro Martinez, with manager Erik ten Hag preferring him over Harry Maguire.

    Varane made his international debut for France in 2013, was an integral part of the World Cup-winning side in 2018 and remains one of the first names on the teamsheet for Didier Deschamps to date.

  4. Samuel Umtiti - Centre-back

    Samuel Umtiti - Centre-back

    The centre-back's career had been on a bit of a downward trajectory ever since lifting the World Cup.

    He delayed knee surgery to play at the World Cup and never really recovered fully afterwards.

    Barcelona eventually managed to send him out on loan to Lecce in 2022 after repeatedly trying to get him off the books due to his excessive wages.

    There's no denying Umtiti in his prime was one of the best left-footed defenders around in the game, though.

  5. Lucas Hernandez - Left-back

    Lucas Hernandez - Left-back

    The full-back made his professional debut for Atletico Madrid in 2014 and played for five seasons at the club before joining Bayern Munich in 2019 in what was a club-record transfer for the Bundesliga giants.

    Injuries have prevented him from quite living up to the high expectations, but Hernandez remains an important player for FCB.

    At international level, the versatile defender has proven to be a reliable option both at centre-back or out wide on the left and continued to be an easy pick for Deschamps.

  6. Paul Pogba - Central midfield

    Paul Pogba - Central midfield

    The former Manchester United midfielder was an important part of the team that lifted the trophy in 2018, dominating play in midfield and capping a fine tournament with a goal in the final.

    He never quite replicated that form at club level for United, though, and left Old Trafford for Juventus on a free transfer ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

    That move hasn't really paid off yet due to injury problems, which also kept him out of the squad for the 2022 World Cup.

    A Pogba in fine form remains a joy to watch, though!

  7. N’Golo Kante - Central midfield
    Getty Images

    N’Golo Kante - Central midfield

    The midfielder played for Boulogne, Caen and Leicester City before joining Chelsea in 2016, where he currently plies his trade.

    A string of injuries have somewhat diminished his impact, however, as Kante is no longer the force of nature he once was with his energy and drive.

    Kante appeared in every match for France at the 2018 World Cup, but physical problems kept him out of the squad for Qatar 2022.

  8. Kylian Mbappe - Right winger

    Kylian Mbappe - Right winger

    The recipient of the Best Young Player Award at the 2018 World Cup, Mbappe scored four goals for France at the tournament and was a key figure.

    After months of speculation linking him with Real Madrid, Mbappe eventually signed a new deal with Paris Saint-Germain in 2022.

    He is one of France's undisputed star players and it seems inevitable that he will eventually become his country's all-time leading goal scorer.

  9. Antoine Griezmann - Support striker

    Antoine Griezmann - Support striker

    The attacker was the joint top goals corer for France at the 2018 World Cup (four) along with Mbappe and played an important role in his team’s triumph.

    Griezmann continues to remain one of Les Bleus’ most important players, even if the Atletico Madrid man no longer seems to be at the level that saw him become one of the most feared attackers around in the world back in 2018.

  10. Blaise Matuidi - Left winger

    Blaise Matuidi - Left winger

    Matuidi played for clubs like Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Saint-Etienne during his professional career and last played for MLS side Inter Miami.

    He was an important part of France's tactics at the 2018 tournament, featuring as Les Bleus' most advanced player on the left wing, but often dropping deep to help out Pogba and Kante in midfield.

  11. Olivier Giroud - Forward

    Olivier Giroud - Forward

    The second-highest French goalscorer of all time in international football, Giroud seems to be primed to catch the legendary Thierry Henry, who scored 51 goals for his country.

    Giroud played for clubs like Montpellier, Arsenal and Chelsea during his professional career and currently represents Milan.

    Remains a key part of France plans, regardless of the presence of superstars like Mbappe, Griezmann and Karim Benzema.

  12. Steven Nzonzi - Substitute
    Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty

    Steven Nzonzi - Substitute

    The holding midfielder is now playing for Qatari club Al-Rayyan, whom he joined in 2021 on a two-year deal.

    He made his debut for France 2017 and last played for the national team in 2019.

  13. Nabil Fekir - Substitute

    Nabil Fekir - Substitute

    The Lyon youth product played for the Ligue 1 giants for six seasons before joining Real Betis in 2019.

    He made his international debut for France in 2015 and remains an option for Les Bleus.

  14. Corentin Tolisso - Substitute
    Dan Mullan/Getty

    Corentin Tolisso - Substitute

    The midfielder came through the ranks at Lyon, but joined Bayern Munich 2017 as he looked to make a name for himself abroad.

    After five seasons at Bayern, Tolisso returned home ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

    The Lyon man made his international debut for France in 2017 and continues to be a viable option in midfield.