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Penpix of France squad

Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyon). Goalkeeper. Born Dec. 26 1986. Caps: 9. Goals: 0

Discreet, almost shy and with boyish looks, the 23-year-old Lloris has emerged as France's undisputed number one ahead of Steve Mandanda. Brilliant in one-on-one situations and reassuring on high balls, he has the makings of a world-class goalkeeper and now has the perfect stage on which to prove it.

Steve Mandanda (Olympique Marseille). Goalkeeper. Born March 28 1985. Caps: 12. Goals. 0

An excellent shot stopper with a taste for spectacular saves, the Kinshasa-born Marseille keeper has lost his place as France's first choice to Lloris, the main reason being he is not quite as safe on high balls.

Cedric Carrasso (Girondins Bordeaux). Goalkeeper. Born Dec. 30 1981. Caps: 0.

After losing his place in the starting lineup to Mandanda at Marseille, he bounced back at Toulouse and then joined Girondins Bordeaux, playing a prominent role in their 2008-09 Ligue 1-winning campaign. Extremely reliable, he is fighting with Mickael Landreau for the number three spot in goal.

William Gallas (Arsenal). Defender. Born Aug. 17 1977. Caps: 78. Goals: 4.

The only totally reliable central defender in the France squad, the former Arsenal skipper is doubtful due to a recurrent calf injury which has sidelined him since the end of March. Scored the goal that sent France to the World Cup at the expense of Ireland in a playoff but that was totally eclipsed by Thierry Henry's infamous handball seconds earlier.

Eric Abidal (Barcelona). Defender. Born Sept. 11 1979. Caps: 45. Goals: 0

A left-back at Barca and for years for France, notably during the 2006 World Cup, he should play in central defence in South Africa with France short of options in that area. An excellent defender, he has a record, however, for costly blunders, and his season has been marred by a string of injuries.

Patrice Evra (Manchester United). Defender. Born May 15 1981. Caps: 27. Goals: 0

Has just been voted best left-back in the Premier League ahead of Ashley Cole, which pretty much says it all. Fast and technically gifted, he is one of few truly world-class players in the France squad.

Bacary Sagna (Arsenal). Defender. Born Feb. 14 1983. Caps: 17. Goals: 0

Fighting with Djibril Cisse for the most extravagant hairdo award, Sagna has distinctive blond braids bobbing from his head. He has also become France's undisputed number one right-back since Willy Sagnol retired after the Euro 2008 flop.

Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla). Defender. Born Aug. 11 1980. Caps: 18. Goals 0

A totally dependable, no-nonsense central defender, he has often played a role in Domenech's plans and might have become first choice had he not been persistently hit by injuries.

Marc Planus (Girondins Bordeaux). Defender. Born March 7 1982. Caps: 0

Schooled at Bordeaux, he has never left the club, becoming a stalwart of their trademark strong defence. Probably made the squad only because of the question mark over Gallas and unlikely to remain when the list is trimmed to 23 players.


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