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Blanc picks Amalfitano for France

Published: Thursday 23 February 2012, 14.50CET
Morgan Amalfitano has been rewarded for his Olympique de Marseille form by being given his first France call by Laurent Blanc, who has also recalled Louis Saha to face Germany.
Blanc picks Amalfitano for France
Morgan Amalfitano has thrived at Marseille ©Getty Images
 
Published: Thursday 23 February 2012, 14.50CET

Blanc picks Amalfitano for France

Morgan Amalfitano has been rewarded for his Olympique de Marseille form by being given his first France call by Laurent Blanc, who has also recalled Louis Saha to face Germany.

Fresh from helping Olympique de Marseille to victory against FC Internazionale Milano, midfielder Morgan Amalfitano has received his first France call-up while coach Laurent Blanc has also brought back Louis Saha for Wednesday's friendly against Germany in Bremen.

Amalfitano, 26, has thrived since joining Marseille from FC Lorient last summer, starting 17 Ligue 1 games and on Wednesday participating in their 1-0 UEFA Champions League round of 16 first-leg defeat of Inter. "He is a person I know well, I was interested in him when I was Bordeaux coach," Blanc said. "He's the kind of player I like. Technically skilled and makes good choices in possession. He delivers good crosses and will be good for this game."

Saha has been out of the France side since November 2006, save for an injury-curtailed 11-minute substitute appearance against Belarus in September 2010. The 33-year-old is now in line for a 20th cap against Les Bleus' fellow UEFA EURO 2012 finalists in the enforced absence of Karim Benzema and Loïc Rémy.

Blanc, who said that Hugo Lloris, Philippe Mexès and Éric Abidal are candidates for the captaincy as previous incumbent Alou Diarra is no longer a regular in the starting lineup, will continue their finals preparation at home to Iceland in Valenciennes on 27 May, Serbia in Reims four days later and Estonia in Le Mans on 5 June. They face England, Ukraine and Sweden in UEFA EURO 2012 Group D.

France squad
Goalkeepers: Cédric Carrasso (FC Girondins de Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyonnais), Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille).

Defenders: Éric Abidal (FC Barcelona), Mathieu Debuchy (LOSC Lille Métropole), Patrice Evra (Manchester United FC), Philippe Mexès (AS Roma), Adil Rami (Valencia CF), Anthony Réveillère (Olympique Lyonnais), Mamadou Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain FC).

Midfielders: Morgan Amalfitano (Olympique de Marseille), Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United FC), Alou Diarra (Olympique de Marseille) Yann Mvila (Stade Rennais FC), Florent Malouda (Chelsea FC), Marvin Martin (FC Sochaux-Montbéliard), Samir Nasri (Manchester City FC).

Forwards: Kevin Gameiro (Paris-Saint-Germain FC), Olivier Giroud (Montpellier Hérault SC), Jérémy Menez (Paris Saint-Germain FC), Franck Ribéry (FC Bayern München), Louis Saha (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique de Marseille).

Last updated: 03/12/12 19.57CET

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