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By NAN Sports Editor

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Dec.16, 2022: No Caribbean country is in the World Cup, but come Sunday, two players with roots in the region will be going up against Argentina as part of the French squad in the much-anticipated 2022 World Cup finale.

The first is Raphaël Xavier Varane (French: [ʁafaɛl vaʁan].

Varane was born in the city of Lille in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. He is of Martiniquan heritage through his father, Gaston, who is originally from Le Morne-Rouge, while his mother, Annie, was raised in Saint-Amand-les-Eaux.

Varane made his professional debut in 2010 aged 17, and after one season as a professional footballer, he joined Real Madrid. There, over the course of 10 seasons from 2011 to 2021, he won 18 trophies, including three La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey, four UEFA Champions League titles and four FIFA Club World Cups.

Varane, who was a key player in France’s 2018 World Cup triumph, was a doubt for the entire tournament after picking up a serious-looking injury in United’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea on October 22. He came through that scare, made Didier Deschamps’ squad and has now played in five of France’s games in Qatar.

Raphael Varane’s roots extend to Martinique. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

The other player with Caribbean heritage on the 2022 French team is Kingsley Junior Coman (French pronunciation: [kiŋslɛ kɔman, -mɑ̃], a forward who was born in Paris to parents from Guadeloupe.

Regarded as one of the most promising young players of his generation, Coman is a quick, talented and technically gifted winger, with good dribbling skills, vision, and explosive speed and acceleration. He is capable of playing on either flank, or even in the centre, as an offensive midfielder or as a striker. Although he is naturally right footed, his preferred position is on the left, which allows him to beat opponents in one on one situations, cut into the centre onto his right foot, and either shoot on goal, create chances for teammates, or make attacking runs into the area.

Coman has, however, joined Adrien Rabiot and Dayot Upamecano in catching a virus that ruled the duo out of France’s World Cup semi-final.

The Times reported that Coman is the latest to catch the widespread illness, thought to be caused by the air conditioning in Qatar. If his flu-like symptoms continue over the next few days, he will be a doubt for Sunday’s final against Argentina.

France World Cup 2022 squad: The full team

  • GK: Hugo Lloris, Tottenham 
  • GK: Alphonse Areola, West Ham 
  • GK: Steve Mandanda, Rennes
  • DF: Benjamin Pavard, Bayern Munich 
  • DF: Jules Kounde, Barcelona
  • DF: Raphael Varane, Manchester United
  • DF: Theo Hernandez, AC Milan 
  • DF: Lucas Hernandez, Bayern Munich
  • DF: Benoit Badiashile, Monaco 
  • DF: Ferland Mendy, Real Madrid 
  • DF: Dayot Upamecano, Bayern Munich 
  • DF: Ibrahima Konate, Liverpool
  • DF: William Saliba, Arsenal
  • MF: Eduardo Camavinga, Real Madrid 
  • MF: Youssouf Fofana, Monaco 
  • MF: Matteo Guendouzi, Marseille
  • MF: Aurelien Tchouameni, Real Madrid 
  • MF: Adrien Rabiot, Juventus
  • MF: Jordan Veretout, Marseille
  • FW: Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona 
  • FW: Olivier Giroud, AC Milan 
  • FW: Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid
  • FW: Kylian Mbappe, PSG
  • FW: Randal Kolo Muani, Eintracht Frankfurt
  • FW: Kingsley Coman, Bayern Munich
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