Cisse aims to prove his worth
Recalled France striker Djibril Cisse is determined to seize the chance to regain a regular place in the national team. The Lazio forward has not been selected since last year's FIFA World Cup™ but injuries, specifically to Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, meant the 30-year-old received a late call-up to face Albania at home tomorrow.
And now he has been given the opportunity, Cisse wants to prove his worth to coach Laurent Blanc. "For me this is not a stop-gap," he told reporters at a press conference. "If the coach calls on me then he thinks I can help and give something. If I can get a place, I'll take it. I must work because it is not automatic for me."
Cisse insists he never gave up hope of a recall. "I've had ups and downs, but I have always remained attached to the France team. It feels good to come back," he added. "I never let go. It's not in my nature. When I want something, I give everything."
France have not lost an international fixture for more than 13 months but their resources have been stretched with Benzema, winger Franck Ribery and right-back Bacary Sagna all ruled out. Striker Kevin Gameiro and midfielder Blaise Matuidi (thigh) are both sidelined while Barcelona defender Eric Abidal is rated as doubtful. As a result full-backs Mathieu Debuchy and Jeremy Mathieu have been called up and could make their debuts.
France hold a one-point lead over Bosnia and Herzegovina at the top of Group D with two matches to play. The second-placed side host Luxembourg tomorrow knowing they have to keep the pressure on France as the pair battle for the one guaranteed qualification spot.
Third-placed Romania still have a mathematical chance of being involved in the qualification run-in but, five points adrift of France, it is remote. They host Belarus tomorrow when anything less than a win rules them out.