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3 Muslim footballers to watch as France takes on Argentina in FWC 2022 Final

The 11-member France National Football Team, is dominated by Arabs and Migrants, 03 of them being Muslims. Read More

Saturday December 17, 2022 4:46 PM, Zohair M Safwan, ummid.com

3 Muslim footballers to watch as France takes on Argentina in FWC 2022 Final

[Image Source: Twitter]

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final: All of the seven teams representing Muslim countries have crashed out of the FIFA World Cup 2022 underway in Qatar.

They were host Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Cameroon, Senegal, Iran, Tunisia and Morocco. However, barring atlas lions, as Morocco footballers are famously called, that reached Semi Final in a remarkable and fairy-tale journey, none could go beyond the group stage.

Though Morocco is ousted following 2-0 defeat against France, the journey of Muslim footballers in the FIFA World Cup 2022 continues to inspire the world.

France will now face Argentina in the FIFA World Cup 2022 Final scheduled to be played on Sunday December 18, 2022 at Lusail Stadium in Doha.

Messi's Argentina does not have any Muslim in the team. However, the 11-member France National Football Team, is dominated by Arabs and Migrants, 03 of them being Muslims. Below is the profile of all three:

1. Masour Ousmane Dembele

Masour Ousmane Dembele is a French professional footballer who plays as a winger for La Liga club Barcelona and the France national team.

Born in Vernon, Dembélé began his career at Rennes before joining Dortmund in 2016. He won the DFB-Pokal with die Borussen in the 2016–17 season, scoring a goal in the final.

 

After winning 20 caps and scoring five goals at youth level, Dembélé made his senior international debut for France in 2016. He was a member of the France squad that won the 2018 FIFA World Cup, also featuring at UEFA Euro 2020.

Dembele earned the nickname “Mosquito” due to his remarkable speed on the pitch.

Ousmane Dembele

[Image tweeted by Ousmane Dembele]

And for his outstanding performance in this year's mega event underway in Qatar, former France full-back Patrice Evra has said that Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele is doing more for France than PSG star Kylian Mbappe in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“Ousmane Dembele is doing more than Mbappe. Dembele is destroying every full-back. For me, he's the player of the tournament for France so far. Mbappe, I'm not surprised by him. He's breaking records, he's already on three goals. But Dembele is a threat every minute. Every time he's got the ball, he's been a threat. That's the player I hope stays fit, because he's France's most threatening player,” said Evra while speaking ahead of their last-16 tie.

2. Youssouf Fofana

Born on January 10, 1999 to Malian parents, Youssef Fofana is a French professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for French club AS Monaco and also for France’s national team.

Fofana was a youth international for France from under-19 to under-21 level. He received his first call-up to the France national team on 15 September 2022 for two UEFA Nations League matches.
Youssouf Fofana’s journey to fame was not easy. While desperately trying to find a way back into the professional game, Fofana had to turn to a pizzeria in his two-year stint in football's amateur ranks, working as a delivery driver.

Youssouf Fofana

[Image tweeted by Youssouf Fofana]

"That was the best way to earn money and also to follow my dreams," he said in a recent interview ahead of France's quarter-final win over England:

"I had my doubts (about making it as a pro), and you have to know how to move forward."

He credits the short but sweet experience, that lasted 'a few months', as a key part to his story that helps him stay grounded.

Youssouf Fofana played all the six matches France played 2022 football world cup, and is certain to be in the French squad when it takes on Argentina in FIFA World Cup Final 2022 Sunday.

3. Ibrahima Konate

Ibrahima Konate plays as a center-back for France’s national team and the English club Liverpool FC.

Born on May 25, 199, Konaté received his first call-up to the senior France national team in June 2022 for the UEFA Nations League, replacing Raphaël Varane due to injury. He made his full international debut on 10 June the same in a 1–1 draw against Austria.

Ibrahima Konate

[Image tweeted by Ibrahima Konate]

Commenting on his inclusion in the country’s official squad list for FIFA World Cup 2022, Konate said on Instagram:

“What a pride and what an honor to be able to represent France for the biggest competition. This is a childhood dream come true.”

It has been a strange but successful World Cup for Ibrahima Konate so far, finding himself third-choice centre-back but clearly outperforming those ahead of him.Konate also played a key role in France’s 2-0 victory over Morocco in the semi-finals of the World Cup, with one stat summing his tournament up.

Up against the tournament underdogs in Morocco, it was set up as a tough test for the France defence, but Konate excelled in a standout performance to help the French team to reach FWC 2022 Final.

Taking his place as left-sided centre-back, rather than the right-sided role he fills for Liverpool, the 23-year-old utilised his pace, strength, reading of play and quality on the ball to his advantage.

Ibrahima Konate played all the six matches France played 2022 football world cup. Though there are reports that Ibrahima Konate and some other French players have been hit by a mysterious virus, he is certain to be in the French squad when it takes on Argentina in FIFA World Cup Final 2022 Sunday.

France had won the 2018 FIFA World Cup with 7 Muslim footballers in the team. The most watched among them was Paul Pogba who was also in news when he went to Makkah in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah before the start of the FIFA 2018 World Cup. Pogba was ruled out of the 2022 FIFA World Cup following a knee surgery.

In fact, France began its 2022 FIFA World Cup with 04 Muslims in the team. But one of the star Muslim players, Karim Benzema, was forced to back out because of injury during a training session.

Meanwhile, Third Place Play-off of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be played today evening between Morocco and Croatia. The match will be played at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar starting 06:00 pm (Local Time) Saturday.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final

France vs Argentina
Date: Sunday December 18, 2022
Time: 06:00 pm Qatar Time, 08:30 pm IST
Venue: Lusail Stadium Doha, Qatar

 

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