Patrick Vieira was among a number of notable omissions from Raymond Domenech’s provisional 30-man World Cup squad.
The former French captain has won 107 caps and was a member of the team that lifted the World Cup in 1998 and won the European Championship two years later.
“We have been following Pat for a while, hoping he could make it to the World Cup,” said Domenech “It’s a difficult moment. We tried, he did too. It’s tough but there comes a time when you need to make a decision.”
The striker Karim Benzema, an rare starter at Real Madrid, was also left out along with the Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri.
The France coach called up five uncapped players, including the teenage Rennes midfielder Yann M’Vila and the Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena.
France provisional World Cup squad:
Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Cedric Carrasso (Bordeaux), Mickael Landreau (Lille)
Defenders: Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Patrice Evra (Manchester United), William Gallas (Arsenal), Eric Abidal (Barcelona), Rod Fanni (Rennes), Sebastien Squillaci (Sevilla), Adil Rami (Lille), Marc Planus (Bordeaux), Gael Clichy(Arsenal), Anthony Reveillere (Lyon)
Midfielders: Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid), Alou Diarra(Bordeaux), Jeremy Toulalan (Lyon), Florent Malouda (Chelsea), Yoann Gourcuff (Bordeaux), Abou Diaby (Arsenal), Yann M’Vila (Rennes)
Forwards: Thierry Henry (Barcelona), Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse), Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich), Sidney Govou (Lyon), Djibril Cisse (Panathinaikos), Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseille), Mathieu Valbuena (Marseille), Jimmy Briand (Rennes).