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Aug 29, 2012

Didier Deschamps: Euros woes 'history'

France coach Didier Deschamps insists the troubles of Euro 2012 are "history" after he recalled Jeremy Menez for next month's World Cup qualifying doubleheader.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward was banned for one national team game -- Aug. 15's friendly against Uruguay -- after a hearing into confrontations with both Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli and his own goalkeeper Hugo Lloris during the Euro 2012 quarterfinal defeat to Spain.

He was one of four players punished for their conduct during the tournament, with Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri still serving a three-match ban and midfielders Yann M'Vila and Hatem Ben Arfa issued warnings.

The latter two have not been recalled, but Deschamps insists the door is not closed on them and he will go into his first competitive games in charge -- against Finland next Friday and Belarus four days later -- with Menez at his disposal.

"What interests me is the future and he is part of it," Deschamps told reporters at a news conference at the French Football Federation headquarters in Paris.

"What happened at the Euros is history. He has great qualities as a footballer. It is up to him to know what to do or not, to fit in with the squad," he said. "He has great qualities but also faults, it is up to him to erase them.

"He is a player capable of making a difference. Along with his club, he must allow himself to be at his best and perform in the national team."

Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle and Arsenal's Abou Diaby are back in the squad after injury, the latter for his first call-up in more than a year.

"Last year, he had a disastrous season due to injuries," Deschamps said of Diaby.

Lyon's Maxime Gonalons was also included, though he left his club's training session Wednesday early as a precaution after complaining of pain in his thigh.

Valencia's Adil Rami returns in defense in place of Real Madrid youngster Raphael Varane, while Lille full back Mathieu Debuchy's heel injury has created a vacancy for Lyon's Anthony Reveillere.

The latter saw a move to Paris Saint-Germain fall through after they were not satisfied with the result of his physical, but Deschamps said: "He is playing for his club, Lyon, so there is no worry."

Rami and Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny are both re-establishing themselves at their clubs after injuries, and Deschamps also stated that Philippe Mexes remains in his plans should he regain his place in AC Milan's first team.

Forwards Jimmy Briand and Dimitri Payet are the other absentees from the squad which took on Uruguay, while Lille's Mickael Landreau has been added as the third goalkeeper.

France squad to face Finland on Sept. 7 and Belarus on Sept. 11:

Lloris (Lyon), Mandanda (Marseille), Landreau (Lille); Clichy (Manchester City), Evra (Manchester United), Jallet, Sakho (both Paris St Germain), Rami (Valencia), Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier), Koscielny (Arsenal), Reveillere (Lyon); Cabaye (Newcastle), Gonalons (Lyon), Matuidi (Paris St Germain), Valbuena (Marseille), Diaby (Arsenal), Capoue (Toulouse), Mavuba (Lille); Benzema (Real Madrid), Giroud (Arsenal), Gomis (Lyon), Menez (Paris St Germain), Ribery (Bayern Munich).

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