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Vieira and Benzema fail to make France squad
Published : 11 May 2010 21:58:47
Manchester City midfielder Patrick Vieira and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema have been omitted from France's 30-man preliminary squad for the World Cup in South Africa.
Vieira returned to the Barclays Premier League from Inter Milan in January and recovered some of his form, but not enough to impress Les Bleus coach Raymond Domenech.
Benzema, who has had a less than fruitful season with Madrid, has also missed out on selection for the squad, as has midfielder Samir Nasri, whose Arsenal team-mates Gael Clichy, William Gallas, Abou Diaby and Bacary Sagna are included.
Franck Ribery, who is sweating over his participation in Bayern Munich's Champions League final with Inter on May 22 with the Bundesliga champions appealing his ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, is included.
Three members of Marseille's Ligue 1-winning squad - goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and forwards Hatem Ben Arfa and Mathieu Valbuena - are named, as are two Chelsea players, Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda.
France were drawn in Group A alongside hosts South Africa, Mexico and Uruguay, their opponents in their first game in Cape Town on June 11.