Arsenal star Pires back in French team

PARIS: France recalled Arsenal star Robert Pires on Thursday after a year's absence due to injury for their friendly international against the Czech Republic here on Wednesday. 

Pires last played for France in a friendly against Romania exactly 12 months ago and missed last year's World Cup after rupturing knee ligaments. 

He has been in tremendous form since coming back for Arsenal this season. His double against Fulham last Saturday took his tally to nine goals in the Premier League since October. 

The squad 

Goalkeepers: Fabien Barthez (Man Utd), Gregory Coupet (Lyon); Defenders: Marcel Desailly (Chelsea), William Gallas (Chelsea), Bixente Lizarazu (Bayern Munich), Philippe Mexes (Auxerre), Mikael Silvestre (Man Utd), Lilian Thuram (Juventus); Midfielders: Ludovic Giuly (Monaco), Claude Makelele (Real Madrid), Benoit Pedretti (Sochaux), Emmanuel Petit (Chelsea), Robert Pires (Arsenal), Patrick Vieira (Arsenal), Sylvain Wiltord (Arsenal), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid); Strikers: Djibril Cisse (Auxerre), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Steve Marlet (Fulham), David Trezeguet (Juventus). – AFP 

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