Al Ittihad ace Kante earns France return ahead of Euro 2024

Al Ittihad central midfielder N'Golo Kante returns to the France national team for the first time in two years after being called up for Les Bleus' 25-man squad ahead of the upcoming UEFA European Championships 2024.

Kante, who joined Al Ittihad from Chelsea last summer, was last capped in June 2022, and missed out on the side that reached the FIFA World Cup final in Qatar later that year.

Speaking following the announcement of the squad, France head coach Didier Deschamps reiterated his faith in the value brought by the experience of the 2018 World Cup winner.

"N'Golo Kante was coming out of a 2022-2023 season where he did not play much. He had a full season... he has regained all his physical abilities," Deschamps told RMC Sport.

"From his experience, I am convinced that the French team will be better with him. He has regained his athletic abilities. He played more than 4,000 minutes during the season - that's more than 40 games.

"With N'Golo, no matter the situation, there is never a problem. He's an angel. Everyone likes him. He has no guarantees. To be honest, the seven midfielders can be the starters that he deserves or that I give him. He has a status and that weighs. But it’s N’Golo, and N’Golo is fine. He’s fine all the time."

Deschamps captained France to their most recent Euro victory, in 2000, and will be hoping to lift the trophy as a manager as he completes his 12th year in charge. He lost the 2016 final to Portugal and exited at the round of 16 in 2020, against Switzerland.

Kante and France kick-off their 2024 campaign against Austria before taking on a Netherlands side potentially featuring Al Ettifaq midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum, who was included in Ronald Koeman's provisional squad. France then end the group stage against Poland.