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France squad

June 05, 2008 19:52 IST

Gregory Coupet (Olympique Lyon). Goalkeeper. Born 31.12.72. Caps 29. Goals 0.

Emerged from the shadow of Fabien Barthez after the 2006 World Cup. Missed the first six months of the season after tearing a knee ligament in training just before the opening Ligue 1 game.

Sebastien Frey (Fiorentina). Goalkeeper. Born 18.3.80. Caps 2. Goals 0.

Clumsily slapped the ball into his own net in his only international appearance so far, a 2-2 draw in Ukraine in France's final Euro 2008 qualifier in November last year. Regarded as one of the finest keepers in Serie A.

Steve Mandanda (Olympique Marseille). Goalkeeper. Born 28.3.85. Caps 1. Goals 0.

Mandanda is a spectacular young goalkeeper, not unlike former France number one Bernard Lama. Younger brother Parfait, also a goalkeeper, plays for the Democratic Republic of Congo.

William Gallas (Arsenal). Defender. Born 17.8.77. Caps 61. Goals 2.

An experienced centre-back, the Arsenal captain has become an automatic choice for coach Raymond Domenech, although his leadership at club level has been questioned by British media. In him and Lilian Thuram, France have one of the most reliable central defensive pairings in world soccer.

Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich). Defender. Born 18.3.77. Caps 55. Goals 0.

France's number one right-back for years. Returned to action for Bayern in April after a month on the sidelines with a slipped disc, playing in an unusual midfield role.

Patrice Evra (Manchester United). Defender. Born 15.5.81. Caps 10. Goals 0.

Number two behind Eric Abidal at left-back, the elegant Evra boosted his chances of playing at Euro 2008 with an excellent season with United, helping them to the Premier League title.

Lilian Thuram (Barcelona). Defender. Born 1.1.72. Caps 139. Goals 2.

Not a regular starter at Barcelona, France's most-capped player is fondly remembered for having scored twice in a 2-1 win over Croatia in the 1998 World Cup semi-finals - his only goals from 138 internationals.

Eric Abidal (Barcelona). Defender. Born 11.9.79. Caps 34. Goals 0.

A reliable left-back and a key member of the Olympique Lyon side for years, Abidal has struggled to adapt in his first season at Barcelona.

Jean-Alain Boumsong (Olympique Lyon). Defender. Born 14.12.79. Caps 22. Goals 1.

The athletic Cameroon-born is back in France, at Lyon, after spells at Rangers, Newcastle and Juventus. Plenty of experience but second choice in central defence behind Thuram and Gallas.

Francois Clerc (Olympique Lyon). Defender. Born 18.4.83. Caps 11. Goals 0.

A product of the Lyon youth system, he competes there with Anthony Reveillere for a place in the first team. Domenech, however, usually prefers Clerc, a solid defender and a good crosser of the ball.

Sebastien Squillaci (Olympique Lyon). Defender. Born 11.8.80. Caps 12. Goals 0. Once the partner of Gael Givet in central defence at Monaco and in the France team, Squillaci lost his place after Thuram returned to international football. Strong performances for Lyon the last two seasons have put him back in contention, but is no longer an automatic starter.

Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich). Midfielder. Born 1.4.83. Caps 25. Goals 3.

Hit the big time at the 2006 World Cup and has improved this season after joining Bayern Munich from Olympique Marseille. Converted to Islam, the religion of his wife, Wahiba.

Claude Makelele (Chelsea). Midfielder. Born 18.2.73. Caps 66. Goals 0.

Born in Kinshasa and coached at youth level at Nantes, Makelele is one of the world's finest holding midfielders. He is expected to retire from international football after the tournament. Partner is top French model Noemie Lenoir.

Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan). Midfielder. Born 23.6.76. Caps 105. Goals 6.

The Senegal-born Vieira spent nearly a decade at Arsenal before moving to Juventus and Inter Milan, his current club. The France captain has been hampered by injuries this season but has a record of recapturing his best form at major tournaments.

Jeremy Toulalan (Olympique Lyon). Midfielder. Born 10.9.83. Caps 11. Goals 0.

A discreet but highly effective defensive midfielder who has become an automatic starter at Olympique Lyon and would be happy to slot in if Vieira or Makelele have any problems.

Samir Nasri (Olympique Marseille). Midfielder. Born 26.6.87. Caps 8. Goals 2.

The son of Algerian immigrants, raised in a tough Marseille suburb and a playmaker with unique skills. Sounds familiar? Nasri keeps hearing that he is the new Zinedine Zidane. He is not there yet but the future belongs to him.

Florent Malouda (Chelsea). Midfielder. Born 13.6.80. Caps 37. Goals 3.

Speedy winger with a devastating left foot. Voted the best Ligue 1 player during his Olympique Lyon days but has struggled to adapt at Chelsea, where he was reunited with Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba, his former team mate at Guingamp.

Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth). Midfielder. Born 10.3.85. Caps 11. Goals 0.

Versatile player used by Domenech both as holding midfielder and right-back. Now at Portsmouth after spells at Chelsea and Arsenal.

Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea). Forward. Born 14.3.79. Caps 46. Goals 11.

Hailed as the next big name in French football while still a teenager, the much-travelled Anelka has struggled to live up to expectations but appears to be doing so now. Seen as temperamental and erratic in his younger days, he has matured and has been boosted by a move to Chelsea from Bolton Wanderers in January.

Karim Benzema (Olympique Lyon). Forward. Born 19.12.87. Caps 9. Goals 3.

This season's revelation, Benzema has skills reminiscent of the great Zinedine Zidane but scores a lot more goals. Grew up admiring Ronaldo, studying his every move on tape. Has what it takes to emulate his Brazilian role model.

Bafetimbi Gomis (St Etienne). Forward. Born 6.8.1985. Caps 1. Goals 2.

One of two uncapped players on coach Raymond Domenech's provisional 30-man list with reserve goalkeeper Mandanda. The powerful striker of Senegalese descent scored 16 league goals this season for St Etienne.

Thierry Henry (Barcelona). Forward. Born 17.8.77. Caps 98. Goals 44.

His move from Arsenal to Barca has not paid off and he has voiced frustration at being forced to play on the left wing instead of centre forward. France's all-time goal scorer ahead of Michel Platini.

Sidney Govou (Olympique Lyon). Forward. Born 27.7.79. Caps 31. Goals 7.

Came through the ranks at Lyon, his only club, Govou is a fast, clever winger who can fit into any tactical system. Made the 2006 World Cup squad after Djibril Cisse pulled out with a broken leg.

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