Three newcomers in France squad, no Trezeguet
PARIS, January 31 (National Team) - France coach Raymond Domenech insists David Trezeguet still has a chance of playing in Euro 2008, despite not including the in-form Juventus striker in a 36-man squad for next week's friendlies against DR Congo and Spain.
Trezeguet, Serie A's top scorer this season with 15 goals, was conspicuous by his absence, with Domenech preferring nine other attackers in his enlarged party for Tuesday's 'A' international against DR Congo and the full international against Spain the following night.
Trezeguet has made it clear he does not want to turn out for his country's 'A' side, while Domenech does not believe the Juve star has done enough to oust Thierry Henry, Karim Benzema and Nicolas Anelka, the three leading candidates to play for the senior team.
Domenech is happy to leave out the 30-year-old while he adopts that attitude, but is not closing the door on a possible return for Les Bleus.
'I know David's qualities. Someone doesn't become the top scorer in a league like Serie A for nothing but I have made my choice,' said Domenech.
'I don't need to test him. But I know how his mind is working. We have chatted and I understand for the moment his position, which is to not come and play for the 'A' team.
'He is free to make his own decisions, I don't want to force anyone. He is still available for the senior side and there are four months until the definitive (Euro 2008) squad is announced in May.'
He added: 'I have other options at the moment. The strikers I have chosen are playing well.'
Jimmy Briand and Djibril Cisse are two of the strikers to which Domenech is referring, while another, the highly-rated Jeremy Menez, is one of three players called up for the first time.
Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and Arsenal left-back Gael Clichy are the others.
'Each year with their clubs, they are showing they have the capacity to play at this high level,' said Domenech.
There are returns for new Lyon signing Jean-Alain Boumsong and fit-again duo Patrick Vieira, Les Bleus' captain, and Willy Sagnol.
But there is no place for attacking midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, who was expected to be included after impressing for Marseille over the past few months.
Goalkeepers: Gregory Coupet (Olympique Lyon), Sebastien Frey (Fiorentina), Mickael Landreau (Paris St Germain), Steve Mandanda (Olympique Marseille).
Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Jean-Alain Boumsong and Francois Clerc and Sebastien Squillaci (all Olympique Lyon), Gael Clichy, William Gallas and Bakary Sagna (all Arsenal), Julien Escude (Sevilla), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Gael Givet (Olympique Marseille), Philippe Mexes (AS Roma), Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich), Lilian Thuram (Barcelona).
Midfielders: Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Alou Diarra (Girondins Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth), Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal), Claude Makelele (Chelsea), Samir Nasri (Olympique Marseille), Jerome Rothen (Paris St Germain), Jeremy Toulalan (Olympique Lyon), Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan).
Forwards: Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Hatem Ben Arfa, Karim Benzema and Sidney Govou (all Olympique Lyon), Jimmy Briand (Stade Rennes), Djibril Cisse (Olympique Marseille), Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Jeremy Menez (Monaco), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich).