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
Report: Frisco favorite for Hall of Fame site    
The late Lamar Hunt settled on Frisco, Texas, as the home for his MLS team, FC ...
MLS's new gold standard    
Heading into the final two months of the MLS regular season, D.C. United leads the Eastern ...
Giovinco out of Italy's Euro 2016 qualifiers    
Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco's return to the Italian national team after an absence of almost ...
What They're Saying: Mesut Ozil    
"Basti showed the entire world what kind of a leader he is at the World Cup. ...
Spector recalled for first time in 18 months    
Short on outside backs, U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called veteran defender Jonathan ...
What They're Saying: Brad Guzan    
"You always have someone either pushing you, or you're pushing someone else. That's the nature of ...
New York City FC gets Nemec off its books    
Slovakian Adam Nemec, the symbol of New York City FC's troubled season, is gone. The club ...
Making a List: European Summer Transfers, U.S. Abroad    
The European transfer market closed with little summer activity among Americans. Only a handful of Americans ...
Video Pick: Five fabulous misses from the Bundesliga    
Schadenfreude from the folks Bundesliga, who compiled the "best" squandered chances to score easy goals from ...
DeAndre Yedlin loaned to Sunderland     
American defender DeAndre Yedlin, who last January left the Seattle Sounders for Tottenham Hotspur, has moved ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives