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Ben Arfa selected by France coach Blanc

Published: Wednesday 9 May 2012, 19.58CET
Newcastle United FC's Hatem Ben Arfa has been rewarded for his form by being named in a list of non-Ligue 1 based players who will contribute to Laurent Blanc's final France squad.
by Christian Châtelet
from Paris
Ben Arfa selected by France coach Blanc
Hatem Ben Arfa celebrates one of his six goals this season for Newcastle ©Getty Images
 
Published: Wednesday 9 May 2012, 19.58CET

Ben Arfa selected by France coach Blanc

Newcastle United FC's Hatem Ben Arfa has been rewarded for his form by being named in a list of non-Ligue 1 based players who will contribute to Laurent Blanc's final France squad.

Hatem Ben Arfa is the notable inclusion in a list of 12 players plying their trade outside of Ligue 1 who will contribute to Laurent Blanc's final 23-man France squad for UEFA EURO 2012.

To complete the pool from which Blanc will choose his party for the tournament, the 46-year-old will release a second list, composed solely of domestic-based players, on Tuesday.

Explaining the selection process, Blanc said: "We have a peculiarity in France in that the league ends after the other major leagues. Many of the players abroad will stop on 13 May. For this reason, and to keep them involved, we have drafted an initial list containing some of them."

Ben Arfa earned the last of his eight caps in August 2010 in Blanc's first match in charge of Les Bleus, a 2-1 friendly victory against Norway in which he scored. The 25-year-old, who broke the tibia and fibula in his left leg two months later, has enjoyed a fine second half of the season with Newcastle United FC, scoring memorable solo goals against Blackburn Rovers FC and Bolton Wanderers FC.

"It took time for him to recover physically," said Blanc. "His talent is there and will remain forever. He has made a step forward and seems to be more mature. Those players, the very talented ones, can struggle to put their talent at the disposal of the team but that's what he has done in his last three games for Newcastle."

Before France's opening match of UEFA EURO 2012, against England in Donetsk on 11 June, Blanc's team play home friendlies against Iceland (27 May), Serbia (31 May) and Estonia (5 June).

Provisional France squad (non-Ligue 1-based players only)
Defenders: Gaël Clichy (Manchester City FC), Patrice Evra (Manchester United FC), Younès Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal FC), Adil Rami (Valencia CF), Philippe Mexès (AC Milan).

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United FC), Florent Malouda (Chelsea FC), Samir Nasri (Manchester City FC).

Forwards: Hatem Ben Arfa (Newcastle United FC), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid CF), Franck Ribéry (FC Bayern München).

Last updated: 09/05/12 20.42CET

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