Florent Malouda has insisted he is not the "ugly duckling" of French football.

The Chelsea winger is in Raymond Domenech's squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers against Romania and Serbia, the first of which takes place on Saturday, despite a troubled recent history with the national side.

He was left out of the Les Bleus set-up in the aftermath of their failed UEFA EURO 2008 campaign after criticising Domenech's tactics in the tournament, and was subsequently substituted after only 38 minutes against the Romanians in October.

But Malouda believes he is showing enough form with his club to warrant his place. "I am glad to play at the level which is right for me, so I feel good," he told L'Equipe.

"If I am here it is because I have a role to play. My performances are being recognised and that pleases me. I am not an ugly duckling.

"When I play there is the impression that there are no other options, but the figures show the opposite (with 41 Chelsea appearances to his name last term). I am proud of what I do with Chelsea."