Ligue 1 - Ribery left out by France

Thu, 04 Aug 15:19:00 2011

France coach Laurent Blanch has omitted Franck Ribery from his squad for Wednesday's friendly against Chile, saying he did not want to risk the Bayern Munich winger's fitness.

Ligue 1 - Ribery left out by France

Ribery, who only today returned to full training after an ankle injury, had been wearing a cast for the last week and Blanc decided to allow him to regain full fitness.

"He wants playing time after his problem," Blanc said. "But I thought it was a bad idea to call him up while he is getting back to grips with the physical side of his job.

"It's not worth taking risks for a match like this."

Blanc included out-of-favour Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, whose form has been hit and miss since joining Real Madrid two seasons ago.

"It seems he has learned from last year's mistakes, when we found him to be carrying two or three extra kilos," Blanc said.

"He realised it would be hard to shed them but he did. We all make mistakes, the important thing is to learn from them and not to repeat them,

"I believe he is the best striker in Europe and even the world when he's fit and on form. You can't leave Karim alone, and we won't."

The 23-man squad also features five players from the nouveau-riche Paris Saint-Germain, who have been splashing the cash since a Qatari-led takeover put them among Europe's elite.

Kevin Gameiro, Jeremy Menez and Blaise Matuidi joined the club in the summer and join existing PSG players Mamadou Sakho and Guillaume Hoarau in the Bleues squad.

"I've not called them up because they have changed clubs but because they can become permanent members of the group," Blanc added.

France squad:

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux);

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon), Mamadou Sakho (PSG), Younes Kaboul (Tottenham Hotspur), Adil Rami (Valencia), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United);

Midfielders: Alou Diarra (Marseille), Yohan Cabaye (Newcastle United), Yann M'Vila (Rennes), Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Marvin Martin (Sochaux), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Florent Malouda(Chelsea);

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kevin Gameiro (PSG), Guillaume Hoarau (PSG), Jeremy Ménez (PSG), Loic Remy (Marseille), Dimitri Payet (Lille)

Eurosport

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