Domenech confident of Vieira return

PARIS - France coach Raymond Domenech has not given up hope of an international return for injured midfielder Patrick Vieira.

The 32-year-old Inter Milan player has been sidelined by an Achilles problem and said last month he would consider quitting the national team if injuries continued to disrupt his career.

"I am confident he will be back," Domenech told a news conference on Thursday after announcing his 21-man squad for next week's friendly international against Argentina in Marseille.

"I hope for it, I wish it, I believe it. His coach at Inter (Jose Mourinho) also believes it as he registered him for the Champions League."

In the absence of Vieira, the defensive midfield duties for next Wednesday's match are likely to fall to Olympique Lyon's Jeremy Toulalan and Real Madrid's new signing Lassana Diarra.

There was one new inclusion in the squad, with Toulouse keeper Cedric Carasso being named in place of Le Mans's Yohan Pele as number three.

In defence, Lyon's Jean-Alain Boumsong makes room for Sevilla's Julien Escude despite a string of fine performances with the seven-times French champions.


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

Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona), William Gallas (Arsenal), Philippe Mexes (AS Roma), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Julien Escude (Sevilla), Rod Fanni (Stade Rennes), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla).

Midfielders: Jeremy Toulalan (Olympique Lyon), Alou Diarra (Girondins Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid), Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Yoann Gourcuff (Girondins Bordeaux)

Forwards: Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Karim Benzema (Olympique Lyon), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Jimmy Briand (Stade Rennes)