Recalled Saha sets sights on finals
Louis Saha is allowing himself to start thinking about winning a place in France's UEFA EURO 2012 squad after returning to the national set-up for Wednesday's match against Germany. Saha has earned just 19 caps having made his debut in 2004, appearing only once since 2006 as a host of injuries disrupted his club career.
But he was recalled by Les Bleus boss Laurent Blanc for this week's high-profile friendly in Bremen having made a successful start to life at Tottenham, scoring three goals in four matches since his January move from Everton.
His chance this time is partly down to the injury absence of Karim Benzema and Loic Remy, but the 33-year-old admits he is considering the previously unlikely possibility of a trip to Poland and Ukraine in the summer. "After injuries and a period without being picked it is difficult, but you must not close your eyes," he said.
"A lot of matches took place just fine without me and I thought I had missed the chance. I'm really sorry two great players (Benzema and Remy) are not here but their misfortune is my happiness. Today I am fortunate to be here and my aim is to give a hand to the group. I look forward a little more now. Let's just say I was thinking (of EURO 2012) a little less yesterday and a little more today."
Saha, who has played in England since 2000 with Fulham, Manchester United, Everton and now Spurs, has credited his new lease of life to his arrival at White Hart Lane. "Deep down I knew that Spurs' game suited me and it was a great opportunity to have some fun," he continued. "Sometimes you make these choices on instinct and it works. I have not been mistaken and this selection is a real reward for me, but also for those who supported me."
The match is also an important one for Franck Ribery. The winger is currently with Bayern Munich and will be hoping to contribute to victory over his adopted country, while also helping to restore his former status as a fan favourite.
Ribery admits his stock has fallen due to controversies in his private life but wants to become a key man for his country for years to come. "When I was first picked it was so amazing, people liked me," he told L'Equipe. "I really want that all over again. Before, I was the darling of the public and after I was rejected. But my career with Les Bleus is far from over."