Right-back Bacary Sagna has declared that he was never afraid that he would be excluded permanently from the France set-up after being part of the World Cup calamity this summer, indicating that on the pitch les Bleus can help their fans forget the goings-on in South Africa.
Defeats against Mexico and the hosts left Raymond Domenech’s side with just a point against Uruguay to console themselves as they flew back to Europe from a shambolic tournament that had been punctuated by off-field problems, though with Laurent Blanc now leading the nation there are hopes of another era of success.
“We were eliminated because we were bad,” Sagna frankly confessed to the press. “Now, the magic of football means that we can change things.
“It is an honour for me to have been recalled to les Bleus and to have another chance. Each player in the France team has recognised the need to give a different picture. We must set a good example. We can do that on Friday night.
“Let's do what it takes for the other teams to fear us again.”
Confessing to being “ashamed” of France’s World Cup, Sagna stated that he would understand if the players were jeered at the Stade de France on Friday evening.
“In South Africa, we have not set a good example,” he lamented. “[The fans] want us to win. We can do on Friday night. Everyone is confident of a good start in this epic. But if the audience whistles, I understand completely.”
After Friday night’s tussle, France prepare for a match against Bosnia on Tuesday.