In a significant development for French football, former Arsenal legend and current head coach of France’s under-21 team, Thierry Henry, has made a strategic decision regarding his squad for the 2024 Olympics. Henry has opted not to include Kylian Mbappe, a player he initially considered as one of the over-age players permitted in the squad. This move comes after an important directive from Real Madrid, Mbappe’s new club.

Thiery Henry Leaves Out Mbappe, Names Two Nigerian-Descent Players in His Olympics Squad
Thiery Henry Leaves Out Mbappe, Names Two Nigerian-Descent Players in His Olympics Squad

Real Madrid’s Stance on Dual Tournament Participation

Real Madrid has informed their players that participation in both the 2024 European Championship in Germany and the 2024 Olympics in Paris is not permitted. This policy is designed to ensure players have adequate rest before the 2024-2025 season. Consequently, Mbappe, now a Real Madrid player, has chosen to prioritize Euro 2024, thereby sacrificing his Olympic aspirations.

Henry’s Squad Selections: Nigerian-Descent Players Included

Thierry Henry has named a provisional 25-man squad for the men’s football event at the 2024 Olympics, which notably includes two players of Nigerian descent: Michael Olise and Lesley Ugochukwu.

  • Michael Olise: The Crystal Palace winger, despite his impressive performances in the Premier League, was left out of France’s Euro 2024 squad. His inclusion in the Olympics squad is seen as a significant compensation and an opportunity for him to shine on an international stage.
  • Lesley Ugochukwu: The Chelsea midfielder, who has represented France at various youth levels, will have the chance to showcase his talent and contribute to Henry’s Olympic campaign.

France’s Olympic Journey

As the host nation, France will begin their Olympic football campaign in Group A, facing the United States, Guinea, and New Zealand. The football tournament at the 2024 Summer Olympics is scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 10, 2024.

Thierry Henry’s 2024 Olympics Provisional Squad

Goalkeepers:

  • Lucas Chevalier
  • Obed Nkambadio
  • Guillaume Restes
  • Robin Risser

Defenders:

  • Bafodé Diakité
  • Mazime Esteve
  • Bradley Locko
  • Castello Lukeba
  • Kiliann Sildillia
  • Adrien Truffert
  • Leny Yoro

Midfielders:

  • Maghnes Akliouche
  • Joris Chotard
  • Desiré Doué
  • Manu Koné
  • Enzo Millot
  • Khephran Thuram
  • Lesley Ugochukwu
  • Warren Zaïre-Emery

Attackers:

  • Bradley Barcola
  • Arnaud Kalimuendo
  • Alexandre Lacazette
  • Jean-Philippe Mateta
  • Michael Olise
  • Mathys Tel

Thierry Henry’s selection strategy and the inclusion of dynamic talents like Olise and Ugochukwu underscore his commitment to a well-rounded and competitive squad for the 2024 Olympics. With these decisions, France aims to make a significant impact on home soil this summer.

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