Soccer

Nasri, Gourcuff back for Uruguay, Brazil matches

Share This Story

   
 

PARIS (AP)

France coach Didier Deschamps recalled midfielders Yoann Gourcuff and Samir Nasri on Thursday for two friendly matches against Uruguay and Brazil next month.

FC Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala and Saint-Etienne midfielder Josuha Guilavogui were among the surprise selections as Deschamps uses the matches to test out younger players.

But Patrice Evra and Franck Ribery were left off the team to help them recover from a grueling season, and striker Loic Remy was dropped after he was reportedly arrested in England on Wednesday on suspicion of rape.

France visits Uruguay on June 5 and Brazil on June 9 to prepare for its three World Cup qualifiers.

Ribery has been instrumental in Bayern Munich's oustanding run this season. The Bavarian club will face Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final on May 25 before taking on Stuttgart in the German Cup final on June 1.

''I made a wise decision to avoid any stupid risk of injury,'' Deschamps said about resting Ribery. ''The most important thing for him is to keep the level he's had this season for the important matches awaiting us next season.''

France is in second place in Group I, one point behind Spain. It will visit Georgia on Sept. 6 and Belarus on Sept. 10 before hosting Finland on Oct. 15.

Nasri last played for France at the European Championship in a 2-0 loss to Spain. He was banned for three games for insulting a journalist in an expletive-laced tirade. His comeback is a bit of a surprise as he has struggled in the Premier League this season.

''The most important criterion is his competitiveness,'' Deschamps said about Nasri's inclusion in the squad. ''He's been decisive again with his club in the past few weeks ... I have no strong views on any player. Some things happened in the past. But today it seemed logical to recall him.''

Deschamps declined to comment on Remy, who plays for Queens Park Rangers, but was happy to talk about his newcomers.

Mangala has blossomed this season at Porto, while Guilavogui has contributed to Saint-Etienne winning the French League Cup in April.

''He's a player who can play anywhere in midfield,'' Deschamps said about Guilavogui. ''He's technically at ease and has a strong physical impact. He's among those young players who can have a great future on the international stage.''

---

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Mickael Landreau (Lille), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Gael Clichy (Manchester City), Mathieu Debuchy (Lille), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (FC Porto), Jeremy Mathieu (Valencia), Adil Rami (Valencia), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain)

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle), Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Yoann Gourcuff (Lyon), Josuha Guilavogui (Saint-Etienne), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Samir Nasri (Manchester City)

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon), Jeremy Menez (Paris Saint-Germain), Dimitri Payet (Saint-Etienne), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)



Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by