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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Aug, 12, 2008

Gourcuff and Fanni called up by France

Yoann Gourcuff and Rod Fanni have been called up by France for the first time ahead of next week's international friendly against Sweden.

Gourcuff, who joined Bordeaux from AC Milan in the summer, and Rennes right-back Fanni were the surprise names in coach Raymond Domenech's first squad announcement since Les Bleus' Euro 2008 catastrophe in June.

Arsenal full-backs Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna, Marseille forward Hatem Ben Arfa, centre midfielders Alou Diarra and Mathieu Flamini and Roma centre-half Philippe Mexes are recalled.

But there is no place for Barcelona left-back Eric Abidal or veteran goalkeeper Gregory Coupet, whose international career may now be over.

Hugo Lloris and Steve Mandanda will compete for the goalkeeper's jersey in Coupet's absence.

Domenech was unable to call on a clutch of key players for next Wednesday's friendly in Gothenburg.

Captain Patrick Vieira, right-winger Franck Ribery and right-backs Willy Sagnol and Francois Clerc are all injured, while Lilian Thuram and Claude Makelele have now retired.

Thierry Henry, who hinted before the Euros that he may soon retire from the international stage, is one of three out-and-out strikers named in the 20-man squad, along with Nicolas Anelka and Karim Benzema.

There is no place in the group for Arsenal playmaker Samir Nasri.

'There's a new generation of young players, very young some of them, which is a concern,' Domenech told reporters.

'It's a new generation, with all the risks that brings. Our job is to create a situation where things go well.

'What we're looking for is they don't ask themselves too many questions, that they show their talent,' Domenech said of the youngsters.

The France squad is: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille); Jean-Alain Boumsong (Lyon), Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Rod Fanni (Rennes), William Gallas (Arsenal), Philippe Mexes (Roma), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal); Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth), Mathieu Flamini (AC Milan), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon); Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseille), Karim Benzema (Lyon), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Sidney Govou (Lyon), Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Florent Malouda (Chelsea)

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