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France’s standby XI is worth $A501m, reflecting the task the Socceroos face in Russia

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AS France announced their final 23-man squad for the World Cup, it was perhaps the names that weren’t included that made the biggest splash.

Featuring a number of big name European talents largely ingrained in the starting sides of the world’s top clubs, Les Bleus’ B-team reflects the mammoth size of the task that awaits group opponents Australia in Russia.

After the Socceroos opted to go to Russia sans in-form striker Jamie Maclaren and mainstay defender Bailey Wright, widespread condemnation was the immediate reaction.

But after the likes of Manchester United’s Anthony Martial, Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette and Marseille’s Dimitri Payet led a star-studded list of French omissions, the tremendous quality at the disposal of our opening opponents puts things into perspective.

Among the list of the omitted French are players who ply their trades at Sevilla, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Arsenal, Manchester United, Paris St Germain and Spurs.

According to transfermarkt.com, France’s 11 standby players – who can be called upon should a member of their selected cohort be unable to take their place – is worth €320m (AU$502M).

In comparison, the entire 26-man group selected by Bert van Marwijk to head to a pre-tournament training camp in Turkey comes in at a combined value of €48m (AU$75m).

To simplify — what is essentially France’s third XI, is worth more than 6 times as much as Australia’s best two-and-a-half XIs combined.

With three players still to be cut from the Aussie squad before the sides meet up to kick off their Group C campaigns, it reflects a remarkable gap between one of the world’s top footballing powers and the boys from down under.

Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk has backed Didier Deschamps’ men in as one of the favourites to take out the tournament.

“They have a very good team and have a big chance of winning the world championship,” Van Marwijk said.

“They have very fast and creative players, are physically strong, and they have one of the best players in the world at the moment in [Kylian] Mbappe. They have a lot of weapons, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a result against them.”

France’s playing group worth over €1bn (AU$1.5bn) and their firepower, especially in the front third, is well documented.


Wissam Ben Yedder (Sevilla)

Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich)

Benoit Costil (Bordeaux)

Mathieu Debuchy (St Etienne)

Lucas Digne (Barcelona)

Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal)

Anthony Martial (Manchester United)

Adrien Rabiot (Paris St Germain)

Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace)

Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham)

Kurt Zouma (Stoke)

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