Didier Deschamps names inexperienced France squad
Last Updated: 28/08/14 3:14pm
France commence their early preparations for hosting Euro 2016 without four familiar faces after international retirements affected the general make-up of Didier Deschamps' squad.
Goalkeeper Mickael Landreau, defender Eric Abidal and midfielders Franck Ribery and Samir Nasri have all called time on their careers with Les Bleus, two years before the European Championship comes to France.
"They are in charge of their careers, and I must try to understand their decisions," Deschamps told L'Equipe. "The important thing is that we have players who want to wear the blue shirt. That desire must come from them."
The changes mean a clutch of younger or less established players including Eliaquim Mangala, Lucas Digne, Morgan Schneiderlin, Remy Cabella and Loic Remy have a chance to impress Deschamps over the next fortnight.
A friendly meeting with Spain in Paris on September 4 precedes an away match against Serbia on September 7 - the first of 10 'centralised friendlies' that must be played against the nations in qualifying Group I.
There is no place for Arsenal's injured striker Olivier Giroud but his Gunners team-mates Mathieu Debuchy and Laurent Koscielny are included. Mangala and Bakary Sagna represent English champions Manchester City.
Newcastle boast two members in the squad - Cabella and Moussa Sissoko - and Hugo Lloris flies the flag for Tottenham with Remy of QPR also called up.
Paris St Germain duo Yohan Cabaye and Blaise Matuidi are the star names from Ligue 1, but in-form Marseille hitman Andre-Pierre Gignac has been omitted.
Florian Thauvin, Dimitri Payet, Sebastien Corchia, Layvin Kurzawa and Wissam Ben Yedder are among the other promising France-based players who have been overlooked on this occasion.
France squad: Lloris (Tottenham), Mandanda (Marseille), Ruffier (St Etienne); Debuchy (Arsenal); Digne (Paris St Germain), Evra (Juventus), Koscielny (Arsenal), Mangala (Manchester City), Sagna (Manchester City), Sakho (Liverpool), Varane (Real Madrid); Cabaye (Paris St Germain); Matuidi (Paris St Germain), Mavuba (Lille), Pogba (Juventus), Schneiderlin (Southampton), Sissoko (Newcastle); Benzema (Real Madrid), Cabella (Newcastle), Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Lacazette (Lyon), Remy (QPR), Valbuena (Dynamo Moscow).