Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
'Little bike' feels total happiness
by Paul Kennedy, May 18th, 2010 1:49AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  france, world cup

MOST COMMENTED

[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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
MLS Trade Central: Friday's deals    
After two disastrous years in England, Brek Shea is back in MLS, signing with expansion club ...
MLS lines up exciting tripleheader for first Sunday    
MLS will open its 2015 season on March 6 when the defending champion LA Galaxy hosts ...
Video Pick: Alex Meier on Fire     
The leading scorer in the Europe's highest scoring league is a player you may not have ...
What They're Saying: Chris Wondolowski    
"I'm not over it. I'm not sure I'll ever get over it. [Pause] I actually think ...
U.S. U-20s win at San Pedro Sula    
San Pedro Sula is no easy place to play as the USA (2-1 loser in the ...
Press and Lloyd combine for all seven in U.S. win    
After a tie and loss in its first two games at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia, ...
What They're Saying: Juergen Klopp    
"He took a wrong turn at some point. But everything is back to normal now. He ...
TV Report: MLS expansion teams ink local deals    
As expected, New York City FC has entered into a multi-year agreement with YES Network, while ...
Timbers land Wake's Vidovich to run T2    
The Portland Timbers, who dipped into the college ranks to get head coach Caleb Porter, have ...
Veterans in demand as Re-Entry Draft concludes    
Stage 2 of the 2014 MLS Re-Entry Draft offered up fair doses of everything, as did ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives