Fanni surprised by France call

Les Bleus

OM right-back Rod Fanni said he wasn't expecting to be part of Didier Deschamps' side to take on Georgia and Spain in crunch World Cup qualifiers this week.

With Newcastle's Mathieu Debuchy injured, there was a gap in the France squad at right-back and Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps felt he had the perfect replacement in the Marseille wing-back.

However, Fanni admits he had no idea he was in the running to fill the vacancy for the two matches that, with wins, could see France stake a serious claim on topping World Cup qualifying Group I.

Long time coming

"It freaked me out a bit," Fanni said ahead of Friday's clash with Georgia and next Tuesday's meeting with Spain, both of which will be played at the Stade de France. "I'm not saying that I thought I would never be called up again, but I was getting that way. I had become used to saying 'no' when someone asked me if I was going to be called up."

Fanni's last appearance for his country dates back to the very first match of the Laurent Blanc era, in August 2010, when the France squad was being overhauled following the scandal at the World Cup in South Africa. Fanni has no idea why he was called up then dropped, and then left in the cold.

'Not very cool'

"Even today, I haven't determined what the reason was. I didn't understand then, and I still don't know why I didn't return," the 31-year-old said, also mystified at not being selected for the World Cup in 2010 after taking part in the entire qualifying process. "Being frozen out just before the tournament began wasn't very cool at all. I've never felt that I'm inferior to Bacary Sagna, Anthony Réveillère or Mathieu Debuchy."

Fanni, who is enjoying an excellent season at Marseille after making the move from Rennes, could well have a chance to prove that as of this weekend.



>> Les Bleu's World Cup qualifying fixtures/results

Your email has been successfully sent