Blanc names France squad, opts for continuity

PARIS, Aug 4, 2011 (AFP) - France coach Laurent Blanc named a 23-man squad on Thursday for the friendly match against Chile in Montpellier on August 10.

AFP - Laurent Blanc smiles during a press conference on August 4, 2011 in Paris.
AFP - Laurent Blanc smiles during a press conference on August 4, 2011 in Paris.

There was little in the way of surprises, with Lille winger Dimitri Payet the only player named who did not feature in the friendly matches against Poland and Ukraine in the spring.

Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff is unavailable as he recovers from an ankle operation, while fitness issues also rule out Franck Ribery, Abou Diaby, Mathieu Valbuena, and Philippe Mexes.

"We have opted first and foremost for a list of players who are available and ready, but we cannot use the national team to be permanently trying out new players," said Blanc in a press conference at the French Football Federation's headquarters here.

"There is no point in taking risks in a game like this on players who are not fully fit," he added in reference to Ribery, who has just returned to training with his Bayern Munich teammates after an ankle injury.

"I want the players to be in peak condition for September (when France take on Albania and Romania in Euro 2012 qualifiers)."


Goalkeepers: Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona/ESP), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/ENG), Younes Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Adil Rami (Valencia/ESP), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal/ENG), Mamadou Sakho (Paris SG)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle/ENG), Alou Diarra (Marseille), Yann M'Vila (Rennes), Florent Malouda (Chelsea/ENG), Marvin Martin (Sochaux), Blaise Matuidi (Paris SG), Samir Nasri (Arsenal/ENG)

Strikers: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Kevin Gameiro (Paris SG), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris SG), Jeremy Menez (Paris Saint Germain), Dimitri Payet (Lille), Loic Remy (Marseille)

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