Montpellier left winger Hugo Descat, who has not been selected for the French handball team since April 2013, is among the 20 players selected to face Serbia in early January before the World Cup in Egypt.
This double confrontation against Serbia, with going to Zrenjanin on Tuesday and back, four days later, on January 9 in Créteil, is crucial in the race for qualification for Euro-2022.
But it is also and above all the entry into office of the new coach Guillaume Gille, almost a year after his appointment in place of Didier Dinart, ousted after the Euro-2020 fiasco in Norway, and the unique opportunity to prepare for the world championship which starts the following week in Egypt (January 13-31).
In this very tight schedule, the list published by Guillaume Gille looks like an almost final list for Egypt. “We are engaged in a preparation which should lead us to play quickly against Serbia and to prepare for the World Cup in Egypt. This list brings together the vital forces of the refocused France group,” outlined the coach.
Cedric Sorhaindo by the wayside
The selected group is a mixture of those (9) who carried out the first preparation module at the Maison du Handball in Créteil, from Sunday to Thursday, and those (9) mobilized by the “Final Four” of the Champions League , Monday and Tuesday in Cologne. Plus the winger Luc Abalo and the back Romain Lagarde, mobilized by Elverum and Rhein-Neckar.
The unsuccessful trainees will leave Créteil on Thursday but will remain available to the group because of the risk of injury but also of possible contamination with Covid-19, said Gille.
Former captain Cédric Sorhaindo (Barcelona), to whom Gille had announced in November that he wanted to withdraw the armband to pass it on to Michaël Guigou (Nîmes), is not on the list.
Neither the Parisian left winger Mathieu Grébille, while another winger, Hugo Descat, returns seven years after his last selection, in April 2013 during a match against Norway, for the qualification for Euro-2014 .
Norway, the reigning vice-world champion, that the Blues will find on their way for a start that has all the trap on January 14 in Cairo.
The 20 selected players
Guardians : Yann Genty (Paris SG), Vincent Gérard (Paris SG), Wesley Pardin (Aix-en-Provence)
Left wingers : Hugo Descat (Montpellier), Michaël Guigou (Nîmes, captain)
Left rear : Romain Lagarde (Rhein-Neckar Löwen / All) – Timothey N’Guessan (Barcelone / Esp) – Élohim Prandi (Paris SG)
Half centers : Nicolas Claire (Aix-en-Provence), Kentin Mahé (Veszprem / HUN), Melvyn Richardson (Montpellier)
Pivots : Ludovic Fabregas (Barcelona / Esp), Luka Karabatic (Paris SG), Nicolas Tournat (Kielce / Pol)
Right backs : Adrien Dipanda (Saint-Raphaël), Dika Mem (Barcelona / Esp), Nedim Remili (Paris SG), Valentin Porte (Montpellier)
Right wingers : Luc Abalo (Elverum / Nor), Yanis Lenne (Montpellier)