Abidal named in France squad

PARIS - Eric Abidal was named to the France squad on Thursday for the first time since he underwent surgery on a liver tumour.

The Barcelona left-back was included in a 26-man squad to face Belarus in a Euro 2012 qualifier next week, as well as Poland and Ukraine in friendlies.

Abidal underwent surgery on March 17 before making his return into Spanish champions Barcelona's' squad earlier this month.

Olympique Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, who has had a mediocre season, has been left out by France.

France play Belarus in Minsk on June 3 before travelling to Ukraine and Poland on June 6 and 9 respectively.

Coach Laurent Blanc said he left out Gourcuff because he was injured.

"He is injured. His season is over, so the question (of his performances) did not even need to be raised," he said when asked about the midfielder.

On Abidal, he said: "I sent him a message ten days ago to tell him how happy I was for him. His call up will give him a big moral boost and that's very good for him.

"He could start one game, especially if he does start on Saturday (in the Champions League Final)."

Blanc also called up Marvin Martin for the first time after the Sochaux midfielder set up 17 goals in Ligue 1 this season.


Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Olympique Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Girondins Bordeaux).

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Anthony Reveillere (Olympique Lyon), Adil Rami (Lille), Mamadou Sakho (Paris Saint-Germain), Younes Kaboul (Tottenham), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United).

Midfielders: Alou Diarra (Girondins Bordeaux), Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Yohan Cabaye (Lille), Yann Mvila (Stade Rennes), Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Marvin Martin (Sochaux), Blaise Matuidi (St Etienne).

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kevin Gameiro (Lorient), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris Saint-Germain), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Jeremy Menez (AS Roma), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Loic Rémy (Olympique Marseille), Charles Nzogbia (Wigan Athletic), Mathieu Valbuena (Olympique Marseille).