Sagna and Alessandrini called up to France squad
France coach Didier Deschamps recalled Arsenal defender Bacary
Sagna on Thursday and handed a first call up to winger Romain
Alessandrini for next Wednesday’s friendly match against
Sagna missed out on last year’s European Championship while
recovering from a broken leg and is set to make his first
international appearance since September 2011. Alessandrini has
been in outstanding form this season for Rennes.
”Bacary had a big injury, but since he came back he’s been
playing regularly. There’s a lot of competition for places on that
right side, but he’s used to the highest level,” Deschamps said.
”I wanted to see him playing again for France and I wanted him to
feel the faith I have in him with regards to the French team.”
France has played well since Deschamps took charge after Euro
2012, securing a 1-1 draw at European champion Spain in World Cup
qualifying and winning 2-1 at Italy in a friendly match.
Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, who scored in Wednesday’s
1-1 draw against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semifinals, could
make his first international appearance at Stade de France.
”I didn’t wait for yesterday’s game, to be honest, I had
already drawn up my list,” Deschamps said. ”He’s been playing a
lot more since the start of the year. He’s a young player with a
The skillful Alessandrini has scored nine league goals for
Rennes in his first season in France’s top league – many of them
spectacular goals from long range.
”I’ve been watching him for quite a while now and his
performances for Rennes have been of the highest quality,”
Deschamps said. ”He scores goals and he sets them up, he has very
good technique. It’s a chance for him. He’s going to discover a new
level. The expectation level will be higher, so he will have to be
ready for that.”
Although Deschamps called up Varane, he overlooked 19-year-old
midfielder Paul Pogba – for now – despite his fine recent form for
Italian champion Juventus.
”Pogba has a lot of potential. He’s playing in his first full
season at the highest level and he’s still young,” Deschamps said.
”But he’s a player that I will continue to follow.”
Deschamps expects a stern test against Euro 2012 semifinalist
”I haven’t had the players available for the last three months,
it will be a good test for us,” Deschamps said. ”There’s a lot of
expectation from the fans after the way we played in Spain and
Italy. It’s important that the players show the desire on the
Goalkeepers: Mickael Landreau (Lille), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve
Defenders: Gael Clichy (Manchester City), Mathieu Debuchy
(Lille), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny
(Arsenal), Adil Rami (Valencia), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou
Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle), Etienne Capoue
(Toulouse), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (Paris
Saint-Germain), Moussa Sissoko (Toulouse), Mathieu Valbuena
(Marseille), Romain Alessandrini (Rennes)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal),
Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon), Jeremy Menez (Paris Saint-Germain), Franck
Ribery (Bayern Munich)