PARIS - Eric Abidal was named to the
France squad on Thursday for the first time since he underwent
surgery on a liver tumour.
The Barcelona left-back was included in a 26-man squad to
face Belarus in a Euro 2012 qualifier next week, as well as
Poland and Ukraine in friendlies.
Abidal underwent surgery on March 17 before making his
return into Spanish champions Barcelona's' squad earlier this
Olympique Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, who has had a
mediocre season, has been left out by France.
France play Belarus in Minsk on June 3 before travelling to
Ukraine and Poland on June 6 and 9 respectively.
Coach Laurent Blanc said he left out Gourcuff because he was
"He is injured. His season is over, so the question (of his
performances) did not even need to be raised," he said when
asked about the midfielder.
On Abidal, he said: "I sent him a message ten days ago to
tell him how happy I was for him. His call up will give him a
big moral boost and that's very good for him.
"He could start one game, especially if he does start on
Saturday (in the Champions League Final)."
Blanc also called up Marvin Martin for the first time after
the Sochaux midfielder set up 17 goals in Ligue 1 this season.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyon), Steve Mandanda
(Olympique Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Girondins Bordeaux).
Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Anthony Reveillere
(Olympique Lyon), Adil Rami (Lille), Mamadou Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain), Younes Kaboul (Tottenham), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal),
Patrice Evra (Manchester United).
Midfielders: Alou Diarra (Girondins Bordeaux), Abou Diaby
(Arsenal), Yohan Cabaye (Lille), Yann Mvila (Stade Rennes),
Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Marvin Martin (Sochaux), Blaise Matuidi
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kevin Gameiro
(Lorient), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris Saint-Germain), Florent Malouda
(Chelsea), Jeremy Menez (AS Roma), Franck Ribery (Bayern
Munich), Loic Rémy (Olympique Marseille), Charles Nzogbia (Wigan
Athletic), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique Marseille).
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