• France's news in English

Abidal and Nasri recalled to France squad

AFP/The Local · 8 Aug 2013, 16:12

Published: 08 Aug 2013 16:12 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Eric Abidal and Samir Nasri were both recalled to the France team for the first time in over a year on Thursday as coach Didier Deschamps named a 23-man squad for a friendly match against Belgium in Brussels next week.

Abidal, 33, joined Monaco in July after Barcelona opted not to renew his contract and won the last of his 61 caps for Les Bleus in February 2012 before undergoing a liver transplant that sidelined him for just under 12 months.

"He joined Monaco and he got through the pre-season quite well. I followed the warm-up matches, where he was very much at ease. He has international experience, he's been through several competitions," said Deschamps,
explaining his decision to recall the defender.

"He's played 61 times for France. In relation to that and the need for players with international experience, after discussing with him at length his state of mind regarding his selection, I took the decision to recall him."

Nasri, 26, last turned out for France at Euro 2012, after which the Manchester City midfielder was banned from the national team for three matches following a spat with a journalist following the quarter-final defeat to Spain.

Sevilla midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, a member of France's triumphant under-20 World Cup side this summer, was also called up for the first time.

On the same days the squad was made public former French international footballer Luis Saha announced his retirement from the game.

Former France striker Louis Saha announced on Thursday that he is retiring from professional football.

The former Manchester United star chose the day of his 35th birthday to transmit the news via his Twitter account

"Want to thks all managers, all staffs, all teammates, all opponents, all fans, for all support and love towards me during my football career," he said.

"I'm a proud man but without you all I won't be myself now. Thx for the challenges thx for the help thx for the memories thx for the passion.

"I will stop to be call a professionnel footballer and wish many young talent to enjoy as much as me my football. Love you and thx again."

Saha began his career at Metz in 1997 before moving on loan to Newcastle in the second half of the 1998-99 season.

He came back to England in 2000 when he joined Fulham and his form there saw him catch the eye of Alex Ferguson, with a £12.8 million move to United ensuing in January 2004.

He won the Champions League in 2008 and two Premier League titles during his four-and-a-half year spell at Old Trafford, before moving on to Everton.

Further spells at Tottenham, Sunderland and Lazio came as his career wound down.

He also played 20 times for France, scoring four goals and taking part at Euro 2004 and the 2006 World Cup, where he helped France reach the final, for which he was suspended.

Story continues below…

The full French squad to face Belgium:

Goalkeepers: Mickael Landreau (Bastia), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ENG), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Monaco), Gael Clichy (Manchester City/ENG), Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle/ENG), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/ENG), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal/ENG), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto/POR), Adil Rami
(Valencia/ESP), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal/ENG)

Midfielders: Etienne Capoue (Toulouse), Clement Grenier (Lyon), Josuha Guilavogui (Saint-Etienne), Geoffrey Kondogbia (Sevilla/ESP), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Samir Nasri (Manchester City/ENG), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle/ENG),
Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/ESP), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal/ENG), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich/GER)

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
The fantastic new Bordeaux wine museum. Photo: AFP

After The Local France, the Lonely Planet has followed suit by urging everyone to head to Bordeaux in 2017.

Jungle shacks set ablaze and torn down as camp razed
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: The razing of the Jungle has finally begun.

Frenchwoman finds WW1 grenade among her spuds
Photo: AFP

It could have been a very explosive family dinner.

Refugee crisis
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Photo: AFP

What does the future hold for the migrants of the Jungle? Can they work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Pampers nappies 'contain carcinogenics': French study
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flick

The substances in the nappies are meant to prevent skin irritation but are cancerous, the study concludes.

France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available