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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 May 2006, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Chimbonda named in France squad

Pascal Chimbonda
Chimbonda wants to leave Wigan
Wigan defender Pascal Chimbonda has been named in France's World Cup squad.

The 27-year-old Chimbonda, wanted by Tottenham after handing in a transfer request to the Latics, has never played for France before.

As expected, there is no place in France coach Raymond Domenech's 23-man squad for Arsenal's Robert Pires.

Jean-Alain Boumsong, William Gallas, Mikael Silvestre, Claude Makelele, Djibril Cisse, Thierry Henry and Louis Saha are all in the party, however.

Pires fell out with Domenech after being substituted in a World Cup qualifying match against Cyprus in October 2004.

I am convinced these 23 men can lead the French team to the final
Raymond Domenech

Barcelona winger Ludovic Giuly and Fenerbache striker Nicolas Anelka also miss out, the third time the former Arsenal forward has missed out on a World Cup.

He was one of the unlucky men when coach Aime Jacquet trimmed his 28-man squad to 22 for the successful 1998 World Cup campaign.

In 2002 he was surprisingly overlooked by Roger Lemerre, who instead called up Cisse.

The other surprise in the French squad was the inclusion of 23-year-old Marseille winger Franck Ribery, who has never played for Les Bleus before.

Domenech also confirmed Fabien Barthez would be France's first choice goalkeeper in the finals.

Barthez had been in fierce contention with Lyon's Gregory Coupet for the position, but Domenech has opted for the 77-times capped Barthez, who helped France win the World Cup in 1998.

"It wasn't easy," said Domenech. "There were nights of doubt, of sleeplessness for everbody, but I am convinced this squad can go as far as possible in Germany.

"This list might not please anyone but I made it because of a few elements.

"Firstly talent, second their experience in big competitions like the World Cup, thirdly their fitness and fourth their ability to get on together and finally their personality."

Domenech insisted he had prioritised players with a team spirit.

"They have to renounce personal pride and put themselves at the team's disposal.

"I am convinced these 23 men can lead the French team to the final."

Chimbonda, who was voted as the Premier League's best right fullback by the Professional Footballers' Association, said he was delighted by his inclusion.

"The coach has always said the door was open. It's a dream coming true, I'm very happy," he added.


Goalkeepers: Fabien Barthez (Olympique Marseille), Gregory Coupet (Olympique Lyon), Mickael Landreau (Nantes)

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Olympique Lyon), Jean-Alain Boumsong (Newcastle United, England), Pascal Chimbonda (Wigan Athletic, England), William Gallas (Chelsea, England), Gael Givet (Monaco) Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich, Germany), Mikael Silvestre (Manchester United, England), Lilian Thuram (Juventus, Italy)

Midfielders: Vikash Dhorasoo (Paris St Germain), Alou Diarra (Racing Lens), Claude Makelele (Chelsea, England), Florent Malouda (Olympique Lyon), Patrick Vieira (Juventus, Italy), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid, Spain)

Strikers: Djibril Cisse (Liverpool, England), Thierry Henry (Arsenal, England), Franck Ribery (Olympique Marseille), Louis Saha (Manchester United, England), David Trezeguet (Juventus, Italy), Sylvain Wiltord (Olympique Lyon)



SEE ALSO
France team guide
27 Apr 06 |  France
World Cup fixtures
09 Dec 05 |  Schedule
Have your say on the World Cup
28 Apr 06 |  Football
BBC World Cup coverage
27 Apr 06 |  BBC coverage
Spurs bid for Chimbonda rejected
13 May 06 |  Wigan Athletic


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