France coach Raymond Domenech praised Nicolas Anelka after the Bolton striker led his nation to a 1-0 Euro 2008 qualifying win over Lithuania.
Anelka has scored nine goals in 35 international appearances
Anelka, who was not picked for the 2006 World Cup, scored the winner to keep France level on points with Scotland.
After the Group B tie Domenech said: "That's the Nicolas I love. When he plays like that he is a real contender for a permanent place in this team."
Anelka added: "It's good to score in an important away match."
France's win in Lithuania kept them second in the standings, with 12 points from five matches.
Leaders Scotland, who have played the same number of games, beat Georgia 2-1.
France's attack improved after Domenech brought on Djibril Cisse to partner Anelka just past the hour.
And on 73 minutes Anelka slalomed through the Lithuania midfield before beating keeper Zydrunas Karcemarskas with a low shot from just outside the area for his ninth goal from 35 appearances.
Anelka said: "With Djibril we really worked well together towards the end of the match."
Domenech added: "Conditions weren't easy, in front of us was a solid team who really got stuck in and the pitch didn't allow you to play well.
"But we can be satisfied that during a difficult match we showed solidarity and a battling spirit."
Anelka was excluded from France's squad for three years after snubbing a late call-up in 2002.