France coach Didier Deschamps has picked seasoned striker Olivier Giroud for his 23-man squad for Euro 2016, which France will host, naming in-form forward Hatem Ben Arfa only as a reserve.
Giroud, recovering from a lean spell at Arsenal with a strong finish to the Premier League season, is one of six strikers in the squad, alongside Antoine Griezmann, Dimitri Payet, Antony Martial, Kingsley Coman, and Andre-Pierre Gignac.
Karim Benzema will miss the June 10-July 10 tournament after a ban for his involvement in an alleged blackmail scandal was upheld by the French federation last month. The Real Madrid forward was suspended indefinitely last December after being put under formal investigation by a judge for alleged blackmail over a sex video involving France team-mate Mathieu Valbuena, who was also left out of the squad.
Deschamps has until May 31 to present his selection to football’s European body Uefa.
“My aim was not to pick the best 23 players, but to go for a group capable of going very far in the tournament together,” said Deschamps.
He chose to leave out Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho, who is facing a Uefa investigation after testing positive for an illegal substance .
France kick off their campaign against Romania at Stade de France on June 10.
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Steve Mandanda (Olympique Marseille), Benoit Costil (Stade Rennes); defenders: Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Jeremy Mathieu (Barcelona), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Bacary Sagna (Man City), Lucas Digne (AS Roma), Christophe Jallet (Olympique Lyon); midfielders: Paul Pogba (Juventus), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Lassana Diarra (Olympique Marseille), N’Golo Kante (Leicester City), Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle Utd); forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Anthony Martial (Man Utd), Kingsley Coman (Bayern), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Andre-Pierre Gignac (UANL Tigres)
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