Deschamps names France squad for Euro 2016

Paris, May 13 (IANS) France coach Didier Deschamps has announced his 23-man selection for the upcoming 2016 European soccer championship on home soil with 10 players from the English Premier League, but Hatem Ben Arfa has been given a miss.

The in-form forward, who has enjoyed a very successful season so far with 17 goals for Ligue 1 members Nice, was named on Thursday among the eight reserves who will join the Euro 2016 squad if only a player pulled out injured, reports Xinhua.

Also on the standby list are Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, Lyon top scorer Alexandre Lacazette and Paris Saint-Germain sensation Adrien Rabiot.

Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba heads up France’s squad for the June 10-July 10 tournament, while Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann and Manchester United’s Anthony Martial are also included.

“Hatem has had a great season but he’s not the only one in that position,” Deschamps said.

“Giroud, that’s 25 goals in all competitions this season, for Griezmann it’s even more and Martial is on the same level.”

“My aim was not to pick the best 23 players but to go for a group capable of going very far in the tournament together,” he added.

Deschamps has until May 31 to present his final version of the French squad to soccer’s European governing body UEFA.

The France boss had previously revealed that Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema would not go to Euro 2016 after he was charged with complicity in an attempt to blackmail and participating in a criminal conspiracy as part of an investigation into a sex-tape plot involving international teammate Mathieu Valbuena, who was also left out of the squad announced on Thursday.

France, who won the 1998 World Cup on home soil and the European Championship two years later with Deschamps as their captain, will play Romania, Albania and Switzerland in Group A.

The squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Benoit Costil (Rennes)

Defenders: Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Jeremy Mathieu (Barcelona), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Lucas Digne (AS Roma), Christophe Jallet (Lyon)

Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Juventus), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Lassana Diarra (Marseille), N’ Golo Kante (Leicester City), Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United)

Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Dimitri Payet (West Ham United), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Andre-Pierre Gignac (UANL Tigres)

Reserves: Alphonse Areola (Villarreal), Hatem Ben Arfa (Nice), Kevin Gameiro (Sevilla), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Adrien Rabiot (Paris St Germain), Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United), Djibril Sidibe (Lille), Samuel Umtiti (Lyon)

–IANS

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