I want to play alongside my mate Mbappe at the World Cup! Newcastle star Allan Saint-Maximin reveals his France ambition for 2026 after injury scuppered his hopes of a Qatar call-up
- Newcastle winger, 25, was in contention to make France’s World Cup squad
- But injury issues ruined any hopes of a call-up by Didier Deschamps for Qatar
- Saint-Maximin is now targeting the next World Cup in North America in 2026
- He hopes to play alongside his friends Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele
- Saint-Maximin has yet to make a senior appearance for the France team
- INTERVIEW: Eddie Howe is scared of rollercoasters but is enjoying the ride
The 25-year-old has been terrorising defences for the Toon for a while now and was in the running for a Qatar World Cup call-up until he suffered an injury setback.
France went on to reach the final, where they lost on penalties to Argentina, and there will likely be a few changes to the team before the next World Cup.
Newcastle United’s Allan Saint-Maximin has set his sights on playing for France at the next World Cup, which will be held in North America in 2026
The flying winger has never made an appearance for France at senior level but hopes to be playing alongside Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele in their attack soon
Olivier Giroud led the line in Qatar but is 36, while it would seem 35-year-old Karim Benzema isn’t going to be reintegrated into the set-up.
That may open the door for Saint-Maximin, who has represented France up to under-21 level but not for the seniors – and he is already close to star forward Mbappe, as well as Ousmane Dembele and Marcus Thuram.
‘Playing for France would mean everything for me,’ he told The Sun.
‘I hope that one day I have the chance to show my qualities for Les Bleus. Of course, it will not be easy. Everyone saw the character of the players in the World Cup final and it is a team full of talent.
Kylian Mbappe won the Golden Boot at the World Cup but France fell short in the final
‘But if I keep working hard and playing well for Newcastle, I hope to get noticed.
‘It is not as if I am at a small club. We are third in the best league in the world so that can only help.’
He added: ‘I really don’t know how close I am to selection. There was talk of a call-up earlier this season but I came back from injury just two weeks before the World Cup started, which was not good enough to break into the squad.
‘I do believe I am good enough to play with friends in the national team.’
Saint-Maximin in action on his return to competitive action with Newcastle after the World Cup, as they beat Bournemouth 1-0 in the Carabao Cup fourth round
Saint-Maximin returned to competitive action after the World Cup break with 33 minutes off the bench in Newcastle’s Carabao Cup fourth round win over Bournemouth on Tuesday.
Eddie Howe’s men travel to Leicester City on Boxing Day and then host Leeds United on New Year’s Eve.