Abidal back with France
Eric Abidal has been recalled to the France squad for the first time since surgery to remove a liver tumour.
Last Updated: 26/05/11 2:52pm
Eric Abidal has been recalled to the France squad for the first time since undergoing surgery to remove a liver tumour.
The Barcelona left-back, who is currently preparing for Saturday's UEFA Champions League final with Manchester United at Wembley, has been named in coach Laurent Blanc's party for three forthcoming matches.
France tackle Belarus in their Euro 2012 qualifier on 3rd June before friendly fixtures against Ukraine (6th June) and Poland (9th June).
Blanc is delighted to see the defender back in action after only being operated on in March and believes he is ready to return to the starting XI for both club and country.
Blanc said: "I left him a message about 10 days ago to tell him I was really happy to see him back on a football pitch. Hopefully he will be given a starting spot, he is coming back to form.
"He will be delighted to return to the squad and he can bid for a starting spot at left-back.
"It is amazing what he has already achieved, this is a good surprise. His return to the squad will boost his morale."
Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff is out through injury, along with Real Madrid's Lassana Diarra, leading to a first call-up for Sochaux midfielder Marvin Martin.
Goalkeepers: Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille).
Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Younes Kaboul (Tottenham), Adil Rami (Lille), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Paris St Germain).
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Lille), Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Yann M'Vila (Rennes), Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Saint-Etienne), Marvin Martin (Sochaux).
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kevin Gameiro (Lorient), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris St Germain), Jeremy Menez (Roma), Charles N'Zogbia (Wigan), Loic Remy (Marseille), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).