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Mar 20, 2014

Ex-France stars unconvinced by Nasri

World Cup winners Christophe Dugarry and Frank Leboeuf have suggested Samir Nasri should not be included in France's squad for Brazil due his attitude and his form.

Samir Nasri could miss out on a place in the France squad this summer.
Samir Nasri could miss out on a place in the France squad this summer.

Laurens: Who makes the plane?
Nasri targeting World Cup spot

Despite being a first-team regular at Manchester City, Nasri, 26, is much less of a permanent fixture with the French national team.

The former Arsenal midfielder was left out of Didier Deschamps' squad for the 2-0 friendly victory over the Netherlands earlier this month, and after a tempestuous Euro 2012 that ended with Nasri insulting a journalist -- resulting in a three-game international ban -- Dugarry, 41, told Le Parisien the player's potentially toxic effect on the squad should be taken into account.

"If his behaviour within the squad is going to stop others blooming, he shouldn't be selected," the 1998 World Cup winner said. "The player has -- more than others -- the technical qualities to go to the World Cup. But a World Cup squad isn't just made up of the 23 best players.

"Didier Deschamps knows that better than anyone else. You need to have team spirit, a sense of solidarity and sharing. Could Nasri's absence liberate other players psychologically? If the answer is 'yes,' his case then becomes complicated."

Deschamps could also point to Nasri's form for his country as a factor behind his fall from grace. After an unconvincing display in the 2-0 defeat in first leg of November's World Cup playoff with Ukraine, Nasri watched from the bench as his teammates won 3-0 in the return game at the Stade de France to clinch their place in Brazil.

Leboeuf said: "If we just look at what happens on the pitch, it's clear there is a big discrepancy between his performances for Manchester City and those for France.

"In England, it's coherent. But with the national team, his displays aren't convincing enough. A question mark remains over Nasri. He always leaves you feeling you want more from him, that he's capable of playing 10 times better than he does.

"Tactically, France look like they'll play 4-3-3, which just leaves him a place on the right. That position has never worked for him with the national team, especially as he now has competition from [Mathieu] Valbuena and Antoine Griezmann. It's going to be tough for him."

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