Juventus pair Pogba and Evra in France squad
22 May 2015, 15:50
Paris - France coach Didier Deschamps named his squad for friendlies with Belgium and Albania on Friday and raised eyebrows with the inclusion of Juventus pair Paul Pogba and Partice Evra.
Gunning for a historic treble Juventus face Barcelona in the Champions League final on June 6, so will play no part in France's June 7 game with Belgium.
"The France team is the most important thing and they will join us with great pleasure for the second game," insisted Deschamps, whose side play only friendly games as hosts of Euro 2016.
France travel to Albania for the second friendly on June 13.
The most notable absentee is Karim Benzema, the Real Madrid stalwart tearing a thigh muscle this week. Deschamps has taken advantage of this to blood 22-year-old Rennes new boy Paul-Georges Ntep, a fleet-footed winger.
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"It was the perfect opportunity to bring him in and get him out on the pitch to see what he can do. Our door is always open," explained Deschamps.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ENG), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Stephane Ruffier (Saint-Etienne)
Defenders: Patrice Evra (Juventus/ITA), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal/ENG), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City/ENG), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool/ENG), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP), Benot Tremoulinas (SEvilla/ESP), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City/ENG)
Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (PSG), Maxime Gonalons (Lyon), Geoffrey Kondogbia (Monaco), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle/ENG), Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Paul Pogba (Juventus/ITA)
Strikers: Mathieu Valbuena (Dynamo Moscow/RUS), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal/ENG), Paul-Georges Ntep (Rennes)