Raymond Domenech has recalled both Patrick Vieira and Franck Ribery to the France squad for the FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Romania in Bucharest on 11 October.
Both players missed France's opening two qualifiers - a 3-1 loss to Austria in Vienna and a 2-1 win over Serbia in Paris - which resulted in growing calls for Domenech to be axed. Former skipper Vieira was in the French squad that contested the UEFA EURO 2008 finals in Austria and Switzerland during the summer but a thigh strain kept him on the sidelines. He returned to action with Inter Milan on 13 September.
Ribery sustained an ankle injury in the 2-0 EURO loss to Italy and only just made his comeback with Bayern Munich last week. Also called back up was striker Florent Sinama-Pongolle, who has been in scoring form for new club Atletico Madrid in Spain.
Out injured were midfielders Sydney Govou and Samir Nasri and Vieira's return meant there was no place in the squad for former AC Milan's Mathieu Flamini. Domenech gave no indication if Barcelona's Thierry Henry would retain the captaincy he took over from Vieira after his injury.
"It's a young squad," Domenech said. "Four of the players could still be in the under-21s and then there are a few who have just left that age group. ."
Domenech was also dismissive of talk that he could lose his job should the 2006 FIFA World Cup finalists stumble again against the Romanians, who held the French to a 0-0 draw at EURO 2008.
"No matter what happens in Romania, there will be other possibilities, it's not a must-win match," he said.
Goalkeepers: Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Hugo Lloris (Lyon)
Defenders: Eric Abidal (Barcelona/ESP), Bacary Sagna (Arsenal/ENG), William Gallas (Arsenal/ENG), Patrice Evra (Manchester United/ENG), Philippe Mexes (AS Rome/ITA), Gael Clichy (Arsenal/ENG), Sebastien Squillaci (FC Sevilla/ESP), Rod Fanni (Rennes)
Midfielders: Patrick Vieira (Inter Milan/ITA), Lassana Diarra (Portsmouth/ENG), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon), Florent Malouda (Chelsea/ENG), Alou Diarra (Bordeaux), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich/GER), Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseille)
Forwards: Thierry Henry (Barcelona/ESP), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea/ENG), Karim Benzema (Lyon), Florent Sinama-Pongolle (Atletico Madrid/ESP)