Patrick Vieira believes France have left behind one of their best players after Didier Deschamps chose not to take Manchester City‘s Samir Nasri to this summer’s World Cup.
Nasri, who scored 11 goals in all competitions for City this season, was not included in the 23-man party on Tuesday because of his negative attitude towards being a substitute.
Vieira, who played 107 times for Les Bleus and currently works with Nasri at City, believes France have made a big mistake in leaving the 26-year-old at home.
Shock: Nasri has been left out of France’s provional World Cup squad, supposedly for disciplinary reasons
Blow: Didier Deschamps announces his French World Cup squad at a press conference on Tuesday
Mistake: French legend Patrick Vieira believes Nasri’s World Cup omission was a big mistake
‘If you want to win the World Cup you need to select the best players and Samir, this year he has been fantastic,’ Vieira said on Tuesday at ITV’s World Cup coverage launch.
‘He did everything to go to the World Cup and I would be surprised and disappointed if he is not going because I think this year he has been fantastic for our football club.
‘He played a massive part in our success.’
Vieira continued: ‘He has been scoring goals, making assists. The way he has grown up and his influence on the group and the team [is very good].
‘He is a positive lad, he has been working really hard and he is taking more responsibility on his shoulders.’
Colleagues: Patrick Vieira works alongside Nasri as a coach at Manchester City
Team-mates: The two of them also played together for France at international level
Nasri has a reputation as a trouble-maker.
After Euro 2012, he was handed a three-match ban from the French Football Federation for swearing at a reporter after France’s quarter-final exit to Spain and for making an offensive gesture at another journalist after scoring against England.
‘He has got personality, a strong personality,’ Vieira said.
‘I think in France sometimes they are not strong enough to deal with personalities.
‘I played with Samir in the national team and I am still working with him now. We have never had any problems with him at City.’
Delighted: Atanes and Nasri pose with the Premier League title after City’s win against West Ham on Sunday
Star man: Nasri scored in the 2-0 win in what was an emotional afternoon at the Etihad Stadium