Veteran Evra back for France

Shukriya Pakistan

PARIS: France coach Didier Deschamps has recalled Juventus left back Patrice Evra for the World Cup qualifier against Sweden after Paris Saint-Germain star Layvin Kurzawa’s weekend injury.

Evra was captain of France at the South Africa World Cup in 2010 but at 35 years of age has finally fallen down the pecking order to the extent he was excluded from recent squads.

With 80 previous France internationals under his belt Evra has won the last two Italian league titles, helped Manchester United to five Premier League triumphs and is an old favourite of Deschamps.

“He’s a top level player, and he maintains his level by playing for Juventus,” said Deschamps.

“I never said it was over for him. I always maintained that from time to time if needed he’d be called upon.”

“He really loves the France national team.

“And he’s a smiley, good humoured person who cheers things up in the dressing room, but above all he’s a highly experienced footballer worthy of his place in the team,” Deschamps said.

A key member of the Euro 2016 squad Evra also played at AS Monaco under Deschamps as they made a run to the 2004 Champions League final.

With seven points from three games France are level top of Group A with Sweden, who they host at the Stade de France on Friday.

Rennes ‘keeper Benoit Costil was also called into the squad after PSG stopper Alphonse Areola was also injured at the weekend.

France squad

Goalkeepers: Benoît Costil (Rennes), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ENG), Steve Mandanda (Crystal Palace/ENG)

Defenders: Sébastien Corchia (Lille), Lucas Digne (Barcelona/ESP), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal/ENG), Patrice Evra (Juventus/ITA), Adil Rami (Seville/ESP), Djibril Sidibé (Monaco), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona/ESP), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP)

Midfield: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG), Blaise Matuidi (PSG), Dimitri Payet (West Ham/ENG), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG), Adrien Rabiot (PSG), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham/ENG)

Strikers: Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich/GER), Ousmane Dembele (Dortmund/GER), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Kevin Gameiro (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Olivier Giroud (Arsenal/ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP)