Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Vieira and Ribery back for France in World Cup

SoccerNews in Ligue 1, World Cup 2 Oct 2008


Coach Raymond Domenech has recalled both Patrick Vieira and Franck Ribery to the French squad for the World Cup qualifier against Romania in Bucharest on October 11.

Both players missed France's opening two qualifiers – a 1-3 loss to Austria in Vienna and a 2-1 win over Serbia in Paris – which resulted in growing calls for Domenech to be axed.

Former skipper Vieira was in the French squad that contested the Euro 2008 finals in Austria and Switzerland during the summer but a thigh strain kept him on the sidelines. He returned to action with Inter Milan on September 13.

Ribery sustained an ankle injury in the 0-2 Euro loss to Italy and only just made his comeback with Bayern Munich last week.

Also called back up was striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle, who has been in scoring form for new club Atletico Madrid in Spain.

Out injured were midfielders Sydney Govou and Samir Nasri and Vieira's return meant there was no place in the squad for former Arsenal player Mathieu Flamini.

Domenech gave no indication if Barcelona's Thierry Henry would retain the captaincy he took over from Vieira after his injury.

French squad to take on Romania in Bucharest in a World Cup qualifier on October 11 and Tunisia in a friendly three days later:

Goalkeepers: Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Hugo Lloris (Lyon)

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona/ESP), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal/ENG), William Gallas (Arsenal/ENG), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/ENG), Philippe Mexes (AS Rome/ITA), Gael Clichy (Arsenal/ENG), Sebastien Squillaci (FC Sevilla/ESP), Rod Fanni (Rennes)

Midfielders: Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan/ITA), Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth/ENG), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon), Florent Malouda (Chelsea/ENG), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich/GER), Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseille)

Forwards: Thierry Henry (Barcelona/ESP), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea/ENG), Karim Benzema (Lyon), Florent Sinama-Pongolle (Atletico Madrid/ESP)


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