BBC Sport
Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
| Help

Last Updated: Thursday, 17 March, 2005, 11:43 GMT
Pires questions his France future
Robert Pires
Robert Pires has refused to call time on his France career despite admitting it is unlikely he will be picked while Raymond Domenech remains at the helm.

The Arsenal midfielder described being left out of the squad for the coming World Cup qualifiers as "no surprise".

"Obviously the national coach does not care about my performances. He has made his choice, I'm clearly not part of it.

"But I will never stop my international career. My love and attachment to the national team are the same," he said.

"I am not going to commit suicide because of it even though this is a huge disappointment for me."

Pires has had a poor relationship with Domenech, who took over the national team after Euro 2004.

The 31-year-old, who has 79 caps for Les Bleus and played an integral part in the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 successes, has not been called up to the national side since the 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Cyprus on 13 October.

I am probably paying for what I said
Robert Pires

Pires was substituted at half-time and then refused to sit on the bench, before suggesting after the game that Domenech had personal issues with him.

Although Domenech claimed that the substitution was tactical, Pires has not been selected since in lacklustre friendlies against Poland and Sweden that yielded just one goal for the French.

He concedes his his harsh comments towards the manager triggered the situation.

"I am probably paying for what I said," Pires added. "Many have told me that I should have spoken to him directly which was never the case.

"But I am convinced now that it would not have changed anything. Maybe I was too honest and too attached to the national team.

Pires' Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry has been named in the 20-man squad despite carrying an injury.

He is joined by fellow Gunner Patrick Vieira, Manchester United's Louis Saha, Chelsea defender William Gallas and Jean-Alain Boumsong of Newcastle.

Boumsong has been given his opportunity because defender Sebastien Squillaci is sidelined with an ankle injury.

France, who are joint-top of their qualifying group with the Republic of Ireland, play Switzerland at home on 26 March and Israel away four days later.

Fabien Barthez (Marseille), Gregory Coupet (Lyon); Eric Abidal (Lyon), Jean-Alain Boumsong (Newcastle), William Gallas (Chelsea), Gael Givet (Monaco), Willy Sagnol (Bayern Munich), Jonathan Zebina (Juventus); Alou Diarra (Lens), Rio-Antonio Mavuba (Bordeaux), Camel Meriem (Bordeaux), Benoit Pedretti (Marseille), Patrick Vieira (Arsenal); Vikash Dhorasoo (Milan), Ludovic Giuly (Barcelona), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Florent Malouda (Lyon), David Trezeguet (Juventus) & Sylvain Wiltord (Lyon).

Pires left out in cold by France
03 Feb 05 |  Internationals
Pires was expecting France chop
11 Nov 04 |  Internationals
Wenger acts as Pires peacemaker
31 Oct 04 |  Internationals

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

E-mail services | Sport on mobiles/PDAs


Back to top

Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability Sport | Olympics 2012 | Other Sport...

Video and Audio | Scores & Fixtures | Have Your Say | TV/Radio Schedule

Fun and Games | Question of Sport | Photo Galleries

Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales

BBC Sport Academy >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
About the BBC | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy | Contact us
banner watch listen bbc sport