Soccer-Maignan to be France's number one keeper, captain not named yet

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup - UEFA Qualifiers - Group D - Ukraine v France - NSC Olympiyskiy, Kyiv, Ukraine - September 4, 2021 France's Mike Maignan during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

PARIS (Reuters) - Mike Maignan will be France's number one goalkeeper following captain Hugo Lloris's retirement after the World Cup, coach Didier Deschamps said on Monday, although he has not yet named his new skipper.

Lloris retired from international football after Les Bleus lost the World Cup final against Argentina last December, leaving both first-choice keeper and captain's armband vacant.

"The number one keeper will be Mike Maignan. I'll have a chat with him. There will be a pecking order," Deschamps, who also called up Alphonse Areola and Brice Samba, told a news conference ahead of Friday's Euro 2024 qualifier against the Netherlands at the Stade de France.

AC Milan's Maignan, 27, missed the World Cup through injury while RC Lens's Samba was called up for the first time.

Deschamps, however, stopped short of saying who would wear the captain's armband amid discussions over whether Kylian Mbappe, Paris St Germain's captain in the absence of the injured Marquinhos, would lead the team after Lloris.

"I will make the decision in the coming days," he said.

"There will be a new distribution of leadership. Among the 23 players, there will be a captain and a vice-captain. It's something that has to happen naturally. It will always go in the direction of the team, with the interest of the squad in mind."

France are in Group B with the Netherlands, Gibraltar, Greece and Ireland, who they will face in Dublin on March 27.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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