'At the start it was almost a joke!' - Ex-Liverpool forward Cisse serious about Ligue 1 return to reach 100 goals

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The former Reds striker is stuck on 96 goals in France's top flight following spells with Auxerre, Marseille and Bastia

Djibril Cisse has reiterated that he still hopes to come out of retirement to reach 100 Ligue 1 goals, with the former Liverpool and France striker insisting that what started as a "joke" has now become his "wish".

The Frenchman swapped football to focus on a career as a DJ in 2017, though he made brief comebacks with Swiss side Yverdon and Italian minnows Vicenza, having initially retired in 2015.

However, the 38-year-old – who earned 41 caps and claimed the 2003 Confederations Cup with France as well as winning the Champions League, FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup at Liverpool – is determined to make a comeback.

Cisse is stuck on 96 Ligue 1 goals following spells with Auxerre, Marseille and Bastia, and he has already offered to play for free to reach the 100 mark.

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"At the start, it was almost a joke," Cisse told L'Equipe. "But little by little, it really became a wish. 

"I have always said that passing the 100-goal mark was something very important to me. Being four goals away bothers me. If it doesn't happen, at least I would have tried and I could close the book of 100 goals, but until I try everything, I won't be at peace."

Cisse added: "You have to see this as a bet, as an additional player in the workforce and not as an element that can play 90 minutes. Even I can't lie to myself to that extent, but I can still contribute."

The former Liverpool striker left Ligue 1 at the end of the 2014-15 season following a brief spell with Bastia, which brought two league goals in 23 appearances.

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While he also added 24 to his tally during a productive spell at Marseille between 2006 and 2008, the majority of Cisse’s Ligue 1 goals came at his first club, Auxerre. He bagged an impressive 70 league goals in 128 league appearances for the Burgundy club, earning himself a move to Anfield in 2004 after twice topping the division’s scoring charts.

Cisse also turned out for the likes of Panathinaikos, Sunderland, Lazio, Queens Park Rangers and Kuban Krasnodar.

He won the 2002-03 Coupe de France with Auxerre, a trio of trophies – FA Cup, Champions League and UEFA Super Cup – with Liverpool, and a Greek league and cup double with Panathinaikos. Cisse also scored nine goals in 41 games for France, and was a member of their victorious 2003 Confederations Cup squad.