Didier Deschamps has announced his squad for the EURO 2016 Championship in France. He has named a 23 man squad and 8 players on standby. This is Les Bleus’ first home major tournament since he helped them win the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
“It is never easy to pick a final squad,” said Deschamps as he revealed his selection live on national broadcaster TF1. ”Especially as I had to choose between players who have had very good seasons.” The players who were present in the last squad have an advantage of course.”
”The reserves will still be part of the group.” It certainly won’t be a holiday for them. When you have to build a squad for a final tournament, you don’t pick the best players, you just try to build the best squad”, adding: ”When you have to build a squad for a final tournament, you don’t pick the best players, you just try to build the best squad.”
Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho has been left out of France’s squad. The centre-back was banned by UEFA following his failed drugs test after the Europa League tie against Manchester United in March.
Didier Deschamps: “Mamadou Sakho was tested positive. He did not mean to dope. But he is now suspended by UEFA. I can’t pick him right now.”
Hatem Ben Arfa has also missed out on a place in Didier Deschamps’ squad despite his outstanding form for Nice. He is one of eight standby players along with the likes of Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, Sevilla forward Kevin Gameiro and Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette.
Didier Deschamps: “We have all seen Hatem Ben Arfa’s qualities, but we have seen quality from others too.”
However, Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba made the cut. He is delighted to be part of the team.
Paul Pogba: “My dream has become a reality. Now it is time to go and achieve our objectives. Now I will give absolutely everything.”
“It is good to hear that we are favourites. But we will remain focused, we have not done anything else yet.”
France will start their final preparations on 30th May, against Cameroon in a friendly in Nantes before facing Scotland on 4th June in Metz ahead of their Stade de France Group A opener with Romania six days later.
France squad for EURO 2016:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Benoît Costil (Rennes)
Defenders: Patrice Evra (Juventus), Lucas Digne (AS Roma), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Jérémy Mathieu (Barcelona), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Christophe Jallet (Lyon)
Midfielders: N’Golo Kanté (Leicester), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Lassana Diarra (Marseille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle)
Attackers: Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), André Pierre Gignac (Tigres), Dimitri Payet (West Ham United), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
Stand-by list: Alphonse Areola (Villarreal), Adrien Rabiot (PSG), Djibril Sidibé (Lille), Samuel Umtiti (Lyon), Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United), Hatem Ben Arfa (OGC Nice), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Kevin Gameiro (Sevilla).