France coach Didier Deschamps has left out Samir Nasri from his 23-man squad for the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The Manchester City FC striker is also out of the list of seven stand-by reserves that will join the France camp until 28 May, though Morgan Schneiderlin and Alexandre Lacazette are among those on that list. "Sporting criteria were the most important through what's delivered on the pitch by players," said Deschamps, who admitted leaving out Éric Abidal was particularly hard.
"I took into account as well what happened over the last two years and spoke a lot with my staff to find technical solutions regarding things we want to put in place. The aim was to build the best squad, not necessarily to take the top 23 French players, but to build a squad to go as far as possible."
As for Nasri, Deschamps explained: "He is a great player whose performances with France, though, are not on a par with his club performances at Manchester City. At City, he is a regular. Samir said himself he couldn't stand to be a substitute. This is true and this is something we feel among the squad. It's the reason why he has not been selected."
Les Bleus will play their first warm-up game against Norway at Stade De France on 27 May, then play Paraguay in Nice on 1 June and Jamaica in Villeneuve d'Ascq a week later. France begin their Group E campaign against Honduras in Porto Alegre on 15 June and five days later face Switzerland in Salvador before Ecuador await in Rio de Janeiro on 25 June.
Goalkeepers: Mickaël Landreau (SC Bastia), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Steve Mandanda (Olympique de Marseille).
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United FC), Lucas Digne (Paris Saint-Germain), Patrice Evra (Manchester United FC), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal FC), Eliaquim Mangala (FC Porto), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal FC), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool FC), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid CF).
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Paris Saint-Germain), Clément Grenier (Olympique Lyonnais), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Rio Mavuba (LOSC Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United FC), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique de Marseille).
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid CF), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal FC), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad de Fútbol), Loïc Rémy (Newcastle United FC), Franck Ribéry (FC Bayern München).
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