French international Eric Abidal admitted Wednesday that he was raring to return to action with Primera Liga and European champions Barcelona after the nightmare of France's 2010 FIFA World Cup™ flop.
"I'm really looking forward to returning to training with Barça. With Barça I enjoy training, much more than with France where sessions are long and very physical," explained the 50-time capped defender.
France suffered a miserable campaign in South Africa, marked by striker Nicolas Anelka's expulsion after his foul-mouthed tirade at coach Raymond Domenech, infighting and the players' refusal to train.
"It was a disaster and we have to turn the page. We're all responsible for this situation, the players and the coach," said the 31-year-old. "The players tried to do well but the atmosphere in the locker room wasn't good," said Abidal, who revealed that he asked Domenech not to play the second half of their first round match against South Africa, which the hosts won 2-1.
"I asked the coach not to play because I wasn't ready mentally and it was better for the team not to play with 10 if I took part. Everything was unpleasant. There was a war between the coach and the press and maybe the players paid for that.
"Every day I thought that the best thing would be to return to work in Barcelona," said Abidal, adding that he was available for selection if new France coach Laurent Blanc so wished. Abidal was one of the players punished by Blanc who dropped each of the 23 World Cup players for a friendly against Norway next month.