Abidal returns to French national team

Abidal returns to French national team

Barcelona defender Eric Abidal has been selected in the France squad for the first time since surgery to remove a tumour from his liver.

Abidal had the surgery in March and he missed almost two months of football before making his comeback in a Champions League match against Real Madrid on May 3.

The 31-year-old left back has now been named in Laurent Blanc's 26-man squad for their upcoming Euro 2012 qualifier with Belarus on June 3 before friendlies against Ukraine on June 6 and Poland three days later.

Blanc said he was delighted to see Abidal - currently preparing for the Champions League final against Manchester United at Wembley on Saturday - back in French colours.

"I left him a message about 10 days ago to tell him I was really happy to see him back on a football pitch," Blanc said.

"Hopefully he will be given a starting spot, he is coming back to form."

"He will be delighted to return to the squad and he can bid for a starting spot at left-back."

"It is amazing what he has already achieved, this is a good surprise. His return to the squad will boost his morale."

Real Madrid's Lassana Diarra is injured, and he is replaced by Sochaux midfielder Marvin Martin, while Lyon star Yoann Gourcuff is also missing with a knock.

France squad:Goalkeepers: Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille).

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

Midfielders: Yohan Cabaye (Lille), Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Yann M'Vila (Rennes), Samir Nasri (Arsenal), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Blaise Matuidi (Saint-Etienne), Marvin Martin (Sochaux).

Forwards: Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Kevin Gameiro (Lorient), Guillaume Hoarau (Paris St Germain), Jeremy Menez (Roma), Charles N'Zogbia (Wigan), Loic Remy (Marseille), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).


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