Chelsea's Wesley Fofana with Nice's Khephren Thuram was given their first calls to the France team on Thursday as the World Cup runners-up get ready to begin their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign this month.

PHOTO | COURTESY Chelsea's Wesley Fofana called up to France's National team

After France, the 2018 world champions, lost to Argentina in the final in Qatar in December, Hugo Lloris, the team's longtime captain, and Mandanda, his regular backup, resigned from international service.

Raphael Varane, a central defender for Manchester United, has also retired from international competition, while Karim Benzema's time with France is up. He sustained an injury at the World Cup eve, preventing him from participating.

Deschamps remarked on the penalty shootout loss in Doha, "Even if the weeks have passed, it is not easy when you come so close to winning the biggest championship of all".

"We need to make an effort to draw energy from that without dwelling on the past. Even while we shouldn't convince ourselves that simply because we reached the World Cup final, we have already qualified for the Euros, the experience will be beneficial".

PHOTO | COURTESY Nice's Khephren Thuram called up to France's National team

Deschamps, who must find a replacement for Lloris as captain, is also without other well-known players like Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kante, Ousmane Dembele, and Christopher Nkunku. Still, Olivier Giroud, who is 36 years old, is kept in the team.

With his 53rd goal for his nation in the quarterfinal victory over England, Giroud broke Thierry Henry's previous record of 51 goals for France at the World Cup.

Khephren Thuram, the 21-year-old son of France star Lilian Thuram and a native of Italy, has been recognized for his exceptional performance with Nice in Ligue 1.

Marcus, a forward for Borussia Moenchengladbach, who has returned to the team after playing in the World Cup, is the younger brother of the roving midfielder.

PHOTO | COURTESY Wesley Fofana celebrates scoring for Chelsea

After joining Chelsea in August from Premier League rivals Leicester City, the 22-year-old centre-back Fofana, who has played at the Under-21 level, is also expected to make his senior French debut.

Samba, who assisted Nottingham Forest in gaining promotion to the Premier League last season before returning to Ligue 1, will serve as Mike Maignan's backup in the goalkeeping position as Lloris's projected replacement.

Due to injury, the AC Milan goalie could not compete in the World Cup.

Moussa Diaby of Bayer Leverkusen, who has eight previous caps, is the only player on the team who did not travel to Qatar.

Their first qualifying game for the upcoming European Championship will occur in Germany; France will play the Netherlands on Friday at the Stadium de France.

PHOTO | COURTESY France National team manager Didier Deschamps

The top two teams in Group B will advance, then fly to Dublin to play Ireland on March 27, as well as Greece and Gibraltar.

The games will mark France's first since longtime head coach Deschamps extended his contract to keep him in place through 2026.

France National Team Squad

Goalkeepers Include

Alphonse Areola (West Ham United/ENG), Mike Maignan (AC Milan/ITA), and Brice Samba are the goalkeepers for the France team (Lens)

Defenders Include 

Real Madrid's Eduardo Camavinga, Chelsea's Wesley Fofana, AC Milan's Theo Hernandez, Liverpool's Ibrahima Konate, Barcelona's Jules Kounde, Bayern Munich's Benjamin Pavard, Arsenal's William Saliba, and Bayern Munich's Dayot Upamecano.

Youssouf Fofana of Monaco, Adrien Rabiot of Juventus, Aurelien Tchouameni of Real Madrid, Khephren Thuram of Nice, and Jordan Veretout of Spain are all midfielders (Marseille)

Forwards Include

 Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain, Moussa Diaby of Bayer Leverkusen, Olivier Giroud of AC Milan, Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid, Randal Kolo Muani of Eintracht Frankfurt, and Marcus Thuram of Borussia Mönchengladbach.