SPORTING ALERT – Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial are among the players named in France’s final squad for Euro 2016, but as expected, there was no place for Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema.
Benzema announced on his Twitter account last month that he would not be selected for the tournament, following his connection to an alleged blackmail attempt against French teammate Mathieu Valbuena in November.
So with the Real Madrid forward omitted, Manchester United attacker Martial, Antoine Griezmann of Atletico Madrid, West Ham United’s Dimitri Payet and Olivier Giroud of Arsenal are among the leading candidates to lead the attack at Euro 2016 for the hosts.
Juventus star man Pogba is expected to be the driving force in the middle of the park for the French team, which will start as one of the top candidates to win the tournament, even without the service of arguably the country’s best centre forward at the moment.
English Premier League title winner N’golo Kante from Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur’s first choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal, veteran Patrice Evra from Juventus and Newcastle United’s Moussa Sissoko are also named in the final 23.
France will play in Group A of the tournmant alongside Romania, Switzerland and Albania.
The host nation will kick the tournament off on 10 June against Romania at Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis.
Five days later, they will tackle Albania at Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, before closing out the group fixtures against Switzerland on 19 June at Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille Métropole.
Full Squad For Euro 2016 – (BBC Sports)
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur), Benoit Costil (Rennes), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
Defenders: Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Lucas Digne (Roma), Christophe Jallet (Lyon), Patrice Evra (Juventus), Samuel Umtiti (Lyon), Bacary Sagna (Manchester City), Adil Rami (Sevilla)
Midfielders: Paul Pogba (Juventus), N’Golo Kante (Leicester City), Blaise Matuidi (Paris St-Germain), Yohan Cabaye (Crystal Palace), Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United), Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United).
Forwards: Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Dimitri Payet (West Ham United), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Tigres)