Samir Nasri out of France World Cup squad: ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’
France coach Didier Deschamps on Tuesday left Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri out of his 23-man squad for this year’s World Cup in Brazil.
Neither 26-year-old Nasri, who has won 41 caps, nor Monaco captain Eric Abidal, capped 67 times, feature in the squad or on the seven-man standby list.
“He is a player of great quality, but Samir’s performances for France have not been of the standard of those with his club Manchester City,” Deschamps said after revealing his squad live on French television channel TF1’s evening news programme.
“He is an important player and a first-pick for Manchester City and that is not the case for France.
“And when he is a substitute he is not happy, and that is felt by the squad as a whole. That is why he is not on the list.”
Nasri responded to the news of his exclusion by tweeting: “Thanks for all your messages of support that’s life another world cup spent at home what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (sic)”.
Nasri, who was also left out of Raymond Domenech’s squad for the 2010 World Cup, last played for France in the 2-0 defeat to Ukraine in the first leg of last November’s World Cup qualifying play-off.
Abidal also played in that game before losing his place, and Deschamps admitted that he preferred to take a younger player than the former Barcelona man, who is now 34.
There are eight players aged under 25 in the squad, including Real Sociedad winger Antoine Griezmann, who made his international debut against the Netherlands in March, and 21-year-old duo Raphael Varane of Real Madrid and Paul Pogba of Juventus.
Bastia’s 34-year-old goalkeeper Mickael Landreau, who will retire from football after the finals, is the senior figure in the squad, while Paris Saint-Germain left-back Lucas Digne, 20, was preferred to Gael Clichy of Manchester City.
Newcastle United forward Loic Remy, who played under Deschamps at Marseille, was selected rather than Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, scorer of 15 goals in Ligue 1 this season.
Laczette was named on a seven-man standby list that also includes uncapped Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, who has enjoyed a fine season in the Premier League.
The seven players on standby will team up with the full squad at France’s training base at Clairefontaine, near Paris, on May 19 and will stay with the squad until May 28, the day after the friendly against Norway at the Stade de France.
Changes can be made to the 23-man squad up to Fifa’s June 2 deadline before France head to the finals, where Deschamps hopes to make an impact while also preparing a side capable of winning Euro 2016, which France will host.
“I am not going to waste a World Cup but we will begin our Euro 2016 preparations as of now,” he said.
“I don’t dream. I’m a realist, but that doesn’t prevent me from having ambition.”
France have been drawn in Group E with Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras.
As well as playing Norway, they will play friendlies against Paraguay in Nice on June 1 and Jamaica at Lille’s Stade Pierre-Mauroy on June 8 before flying to Brazil.
Their opening World Cup game will be against Honduras in Porto Alegre on June 15.
France World Cup squad
Goalkeepers: Mickael Landreau (Bastia), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy (Newcastle United), Lucas Digne (Paris Saint-Germain), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (FC Porto), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Paris Saint-Germain), Clement Grenier (Lyon), Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain), Rio Mavuba (Lille), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille)
Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Loic Remy (Newcastle United), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)
Standby list: Remy Cabella (Montpellier), Maxime Gonalons, Alexandre Lacazette (both Lyon), Loic Perrin, Stephane Ruffier (both Saint-Etienne), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton), Benoit Tremoulinas (Saint-Etienne, on loan from Dynamo Kiev)
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Published: May 14, 2014 04:00 AM