Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
'Little bike' feels total happiness
by Paul Kennedy, May 18th, 2010 1:49AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

TAGS:  france, world cup


[FRANCE] Mathieu Valbuena, who was a semi-pro player four years ago when France went to the World Cup final, was named to Coach Raymond Domenech squad of 24 players who are headed to pre-World Cup altitude training in Tignes, beginning Tuesday.

The uncapped Valbuena, who helped Marseille win its first league title in 17 years, was playing for third division Libourne Saint-Seurin in 2006.

The 5-foot-5 Valbuena, who goes by the nickname Le petit vélo ("Little Bicycle"), began his career at Bordeaux but was deemed to be too small.

He was playing so poorly during the first half of the 2009-10 season that Marseille put him up for sale on the January transfer market, but no one wanted him.

The right winger caught fire in the spring and had three key goals in April for OM.

"I still cannot believe it,'' Valbuena said on his personal website. "I feel total happiness and a tremendous pride. Being in the France squad which will contest the World Cup, who could believe it? Not even me. I will work hard to make the most of the opportunity.''

Domenech trimmed his initial 30-man squad for the World Cup by cutting six players: goalie Mickael Landreau (Lille), Rod Fanni (Rennes), Adil Rami (Lille), Yann M'Vila (Rennes), Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseille) and Jimmy Briand (Rennes).

Ben Arfa's exclusion means that the three stars of what was supposed to be a new generation of stars won't be going to the World Cup.

Arsenal's Samir Nasri and Real Madrid's Karim Benzema didn't even make the 30 list.

Uncapped Bordeaux defender Marc Planus was kept in the team in case injured veteran William Gallas isn't fit.

The Arsenal defender, whose controversial goal sent France to the World Cup finals at Ireland's expense, has played only one game since February.

France Roster:
Goalkeepers: Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille).
Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Gael Clichy (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Man. United), William Gallas (Arsenal), Marc Planus (Bordeaux), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla).
Midfielders: Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon).
Forwards: Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Djibril Cisse (Panathinaikos), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse), Sidney Govou (Lyon), Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille).

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: David Ousted    
"If someone isn't doing their job, then we as leaders are supposed to step up and ...
USWNT: Lynn Williams' magic touch continues    
Lynn Williams helped the Western New York Flash win its first NWSL title, scoring deep into ...
MLS Injuries: Diaz out for 2016 with torn Achilles tendon    
Fate has dealt the players and coaching staff of FC Dallas a stiff challenge on the ...
MLS Moves: TFC signs former HG Delgado to new deal    
Toronto FC has signed some of the biggest names ever to play in MLS, and it's ...
CCL: Portland Timbers' ouster 'hurts'    
Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter put it best. The Timbers' 1-1 tie with Saprissa that knocked ...
What They're Saying: Luis Enrique    
"We saw Messi play like a kid in the school playground today." -- Barcelona coach Luis ...
Roster: U.S. U-16 boys head to France    
U.S. U-16 boys national team coach Shaun Tsakiris has named a 20-player roster for the Val-de-Marne ...
What They're Saying: Howard Webb    
"I could have imagined some less-than-sympathetic person remarking, 'Can we trust Webb on a football field? ...
Video Pick: The lighter side of Jose Mourinho    
Jose Mourinho took on English comedian John Bishop in a charity joke-off for "Stand Up To ...
Survey: Coaching Compensation in the USA     
The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and Soccer America have partnered on a research ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives