France begin Euro 2016 preparations in Biarritz
France kick off preparations for the tournament with a first training camp from Tuesday in Biarritz on the southwestern French coast.
Euro 2016 hosts France kick off preparations for next month's tournament with a first training camp from Tuesday in Biarritz on the southwestern French coast.
Coach Didier Deschamps, who comes from nearby Bayonne, opted to bring his squad here for five days and four training sessions at the Stade Aguilera, which is home to local rugby team Biarritz Olympique. The camp on the Atlantic coast is a first get together to regenerate after a gruelling season, undergo tests and get away from the national training centre at Clairefontaine, outside Paris, which will be the France base during the championship from June 10-July 10.
In theory, 16 players will be on Tuesday's flight to Biarritz -- Benoit Costil, Hugo Lloris, Alphonse Aréola, Lucas Digne, Christophe Jallet, Laurent Koscielny, Eliaquim Mangala, Bacary Sagna, Djibril Sidibé, Samuel Umtiti, N'Golo Kanté, Moussa Sissoko, Olivier Giroud, Dimitri Payet, Hatem Ben Arfa and Alexandre Lacazette. Forwards André-Pierre Gignac will join the squad during the week from his Mexican side Tigres UANL.
Other players are still involved in Cup finals with their league sides -- PSG and Marseille in France (Blaise Matuidi, Adrien Rabiot, Lassana Diarra, and Steve Mandanda); Barcelona and Sevilla in Spain (Jeremy Mathieu and Kevin Gameiro), Manchester United and Crystal Palace in England (Morgan Schneiderlin, Anthony Martial and Yohan Cabaye), Juventus and AC Milan in Italy (Paul Pogba and Patrice Evra) and Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund in Germany (Kingsley Coman).
Those players will link up with the team at Clairefontaine from May 24 with Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann and Real Madrid's Raphael Varane the final pair to join Les Bleus after the Champions League final in Milan on May 28.
The group will be complete for the first friendly on May 30 against Cameroon in Nantes. The following day the eight standby players,Aréola, Sidibé, Ben Arfa, Lacazette, Schneiderlin, Gameiro, Rabiot and Umtiti will leave the side unless called in to replace an injured player.
France's final 23-man squad will then fly to Austria for a training camp until June 4 with a final friendly that evening against Scotland in Metz before returning to Clairefontaine, four days before the two-time European champions kick off their campaign against Romanian on June 10 in Stade de France, before also facing Albania and Switzerland in Group A.
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