Soccer-Kante back for France in Group D clash with Austria

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Euro 2024 - France squad arrives at training camp for Euro 2024 - Clairefontaine, France - May 29, 2024 France's N'Golo Kante arrives for training REUTERS/Abdul Saboor/File Photo

(Fixes typo in paragraph 2 to show date is 2022, not 2002)

DUESSELDORF, Germany (Reuters) - N'Golo Kante was recalled to the heart of the France midfield for their opening Euro 2024 Group D clash against Austria on Monday.

Defensive midfielder Kante was a surprise call-up to the France squad after not playing for the national team since 2022 and missing the World Cup because of a serious hamstring injury.

The World Cup winner's last competitive game for France was in March 2022 although he did feature in two recent friendly games in the absence of the injured Aurelien Tchouameni.

Kylian Mbappe will captain France on his 80th appearance, though his last memory of the European Championship was missing the penalty in the last-16 defeat by Switzerland in Euro 2020.

Austria, who have lost only one of their last 16 games, are without injured talisman David Alaba who is a non-playing captain with the squad.

Manager Ralf Rangnick has stuck largely to the side that took Austria through the qualifying campaign with Christoph Baumgartner seeking to score in his sixth successive international.


Austria: Patrick Pentz, Stefan Posch, Max Wober, Kevin Danso, Phillipp Mwene, Nicolas Seiwald, Marcel Sabitzer (C), Konrad Laimer, Christoph Baumgartner, Florian Grillitsch, Michael Gregoritsch

France: Mike Maignan, Theo Hernandez, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Jules Kounde, Adrien Rabiot, N'Golo Kante, Antoine Griezmann, Marcus Thuram, Kylian Mbappe (C), Ousmane Dembele

(Reporting by Martin Petty and Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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