Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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
Road to Vancouver: Ticas take three U.S. collegians    
Penn State's Rachel Rodriguez and Shirley Cruz of UEFA Women's Champions League runner-up Paris St. Germain ...
Road to Vancouver: Mexico takes 14 U.S. players    
Mexico will take 14 players who were born or raised in the United States, including late ...
What They're Saying: Robbie Keane    
"The problem is I think with people in Europe -- and this won't be Stevie's case ...
What They're Saying: Alex Morgan    
"I have experienced sexism multiple times, and I'm sure I will a lot more. I feel ...
What They're Saying: France U-17 coach Jean-Claude Giuntini    
"He was determined to take the penalty. There was no way I could refuse him." -- ...
Friday: Shared interests foster Beckham's Miami meeting    
Friday could be a decisive day as David Beckham seeks to get the ball rolling on ...
What They're Saying: Luis Figo    
"I have seen with my own eyes federation presidents who, after one day comparing FIFA leaders ...
NWSL Roundup: Reign has plenty to counter China    
Seattle Reign FC has another bye week in the NWSL, but it will use it to ...
TV Report: Top 15 U.S. EPL markets    
NBCUniversal, which concludes its second year of English Premier League coverage with "Championship Sunday" at 9 ...
ICYMI | MLS: Wondo takes century chase to big stage    
A fast start to the 2015 season has Chris Wondolowski one goal away from reaching the ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives