PARIS (AP) — Midfielders Samir Nasri and Yoann Gourcuff were left off France’s 23-man World Cup roster on Tuesday along with defenders Eric Abidal and Gael Clichy.
Nasri, who scored the first goal in Manchester City’s Premier League-clinching win over West Ham on Sunday, was suspended for three games by the French Football Federation following a profanity-filled rant at a reporter following France’s loss to Spain in the quarterfinals of the 2012 European Championship. He returned to play in World Cup qualifiers.
“Samir’s performances with the France team were not at the level of his performances with his club,” Les Bleus coach Didier Deschamps said. “He’s an important player and a regular starter at Manchester City. That’s not the case today with the France team.
“And he also said he’s not happy when he’s a substitute. I can tell you that you can feel it in the squad. Because of those two or three reasons, I decided not to select him in this squad.”
France went 0-2-1 at the 2010 tournament, with players bickering and boycotting a training session after Nicolas Anelka was sent home for insulting then-coach Raymond Domenech during a 2-0 loss to Mexico.
The French have exhibitions against Norway, Paraguay and Jamaica leading to this year’s tournament, then ares grouped with Honduras, Switzerland and Ecuador at the World Cup.
Deschamps, a member of the 1998 World Cup champions, decided not to pick a preliminary 30-man roster.
“It’s not necessarily the 23 best French players, but it’s the best squad in my eyes to go as far as possible in this competition,” he said. “The best solution was to give a list of 23 players right from the start, to create a good mindset, so there would be no sense of insecurity.
“When you give a list of 30 players, you have about 15 players who could be worried about making the cut or not.”
Goalkeepers: Mickael Landreau (Bastia), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham, England), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle, England), Lucas Digne (Paris Saint-Germain), Patrice Evra (Manchester United, England), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal, England), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto, Portugal), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal, England), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool, England), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid, Spain)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Paris Saint-Germain), Clement Grenier (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus, Italy), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle, England), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid, Spain), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal, England), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad, Spain), Loic Remy (Newcastle, England), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich, Germany)
Backup players: Remy Cabella (Montpellier), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Loic Perrin (Saint-Etienne), Stephane Ruffier (Saint-Etienne), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton, England), Benoit Tremoulinas (Saint-Etienne)