France Manager Didier Deschamps announced his 23 man squad for FIFA World Cup 2014 to be held in Brazil. Manchester City’s Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Monaco’s Eric Abidal are the notable absentees while Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris, Bayern Munich’s Frank Ribery and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema are expected to carry the Les Blues hopes.
Since winning the 1998 World Cup, France World Cup’s has been marred by controversies one after the other. In 2002 World Cup, their group stage exit was the first by a defending champion. Even though France made amends by making it into the final of 2006 FIFA World Cup, Zinedaine Zidane’s headbutt was the talking point in the marquee event. 2010 World Cup was altogether a different matter with player revolts marring France’s campaign.
Taking the lead from previous controversies, Didier Deschamps World Cup 2014 squad announcement has sparked a big controversy in the form of Samir Nasri. The dynamic Frenchman is a regular starter for English Premier League champions Manchester City and was a shining light in their campaign. The omission of an impact player like Samir Nasri along with Manchester City left back Gael Clichy and AS Monaco defender Eric Abidal has been the biggest surprises in France World Cup 2014 squad.
Samir Nasri’s reputation as a troublemaker cost him his place in the France squad. Gael Clichy and Eric Abidal would be surprised to see the names of Manchester United’s veteran left back Patrice Evra and PSG’s bright youngster Lucas Digne. The duo got the nod above them in Didier Deschamps books. 34-year-old Eric Abidal was seen as a useful defender who can play as a left back or center back, and now he is expected to retire from international football according to French radio RMC.
Even though Gael Clichy’s and Eric Abidal’s exclusions can be explained with footballing reasons, Samir Nasri’s absence makes it clear that Didier Deschamps has considered other aspects while picking his squad.
“Samir [Nasri] is an important player for Manchester City but he has not performed that well with France. He is a starter at City, which is not the case with France and he has made clear that he is not happy when he is not [a starter], and I can tell you it can be felt in the squad. I built the best squad, I did not pick the 23 best French players.”
After the events which happened in 2010 World Cup, there is no wonder that Didier Deschamps has exercised caution over selecting his players. Frank Ribery and Mathieu Valbuena are expected to flank Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema which best explains the caution exercised by Didier Deschamps. Was he right to leave out a mercurial performer like Samir Nasri?
France World Cup 2014 squad:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Mickaël Landreau (Bastia)
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United), Lucas Digne (PSG) Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Clément Grenier (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Loïc Rémy (Newcastle), Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich)
Stand-by players: Stéphane Ruffier (Monaco), Loïc Perrin (St Etienne), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Benoît Trémoulinas (Dynamo Kiev), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Rémy Cabella (Montpellier).