Domenech keeps same 23 players for World Cup squad
TIGNES, France (AP) — Raymond Domenech is keeping the 23 players who are training at the French Alpine resort of Tignes as France's World Cup squad.
Domenech said on the French federation website Monday night that he will not make any changes to his current squad.
There was speculation Domenech could call up another midfielder after losing Lassana Diarra to a genetic red blood cell disorder, but Domenech decided against any more call-ups.
"We are keeping faith with the 23 who are here, because over the past week they have proved how tough they are and that they want to go far," Domenech said. "That's why we have put an end to the suspense.
"We know we have until June 1 until the squads are definite, but for us the 23 are right here."
Defender William Gallas, who is recovering from a calf muscle injury, was among the players who could have been replaced. But the Arsenal centerback has been training well for the past few days and appears close to full fitness.
Goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso, defender Marc Planus and midfielder Mathieu Valbuena have never played for France, while veteran striker Thierry Henry will be taking part in his fourth straight World Cup.
Domenech seems to have finally struck a balance between experienced players and fresh new faces, and the atmosphere at the pre-World Cup camp has been far better than it was prior to the European Championship two years ago.
"We all met up together and I reminded them what I have been feeling," Domenech said. "A group is starting to be born, starting to be built. Every day they are showing a real determination, a real motivation."
For Panathinaikos striker Djibril Cisse, it will be a chance to make amends for four years ago, when he broke his leg shortly before the World Cup in Germany in a friendly match against China.
Fifteen players on the squad have never played in a World Cup, including Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka, Manchester United defender Patrice Evra and Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby — who all had good seasons with their clubs.
Goalkeepers: Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille).
Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona, Spain), Gael Clichy (Arsenal, England), Patrice Evra (Manchester United, England), William Gallas (Arsenal, England), Marc Planus (Bordeaux), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal, England), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla, Spain).
Midfielders: Abou Diaby (Arsenal, England), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Florent Malouda (Chelsea, England), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).
Forwards: Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea, England), Djibril Cisse (Panathinaikos, Greece), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse), Sidney Govou (Lyon), Thierry Henry (Barcelona, Spain), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich, Germany).