Diarra unconcerned by France competition

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 09:44

Paris: Lassana Diarra says he does not fear for his international place, despite France having produced one of their best performances of recent years in his absence against Bosnia last month.

France beat Bosnia-Hercegovina 2-0 in Sarajevo in their second Euro 2012 qualifier on September 7, wiping out memories of their shock 1-0 at home to Belarus and raising hopes of a bright future under Laurent Blanc.

Diarra missed the game with a hamstring injury and one of the most impressive elements of France`s victory was the performance of his central midfield rivals Alou Diarra, Yann Mvila and Abou Diaby.

Blanc hinted after the game that all the players involved had earned the right to more first-team opportunities, but Diarra says he has no reason to fear for his own international future.

"They played a complete match," he said at France`s Clairefontaine training base on Tuesday.

"There was lots to be pleased about, which is as it should be. I bring my own desire and I`m at the coach`s disposal. There are no worries with me."

Diarra missed the World Cup with a stomach problem linked to a genetic blood disorder and subsequently lost his starting place at Real Madrid.

He featured at right-back in Real`s opening league game, but expressed reluctance when asked if he could adopt the same role for France in the absence through injury of first-choice right-back Bacary Sagna.

"I`m a defensive midfielder," said the 25-year-old.

"I can do a job (at right-back) for my club or for France, with pleasure. But you have to know that Lassana Diarra is a midfielder and not a right-back."

Diarra has lost his place at Real to German international Sami Khedira and he admitted that he could be tempted to look elsewhere if he is not able to dislodge the former Stuttgart man from the starting XI.

"At Real I`m in competition with a world champion (Spain`s Xabi Alonso) and a World Cup semi-finalist (Khedira)," said Diarra.

"It`s up to me to hang in there, but I`ve not done too badly so far. I`ve already played for three of the 10 biggest clubs in the world (Chelsea, Arsenal and Real); I`m not scared of playing anywhere.”

"If I`m not happy, I`ll find a solution, but I aim to play and representing France comes through playing for your club."

Diarra and his Real team-mate Karim Benzema both arrived late at France`s training camp, prompting Blanc to declare his annoyance, but the midfielder insisted a line had been drawn under the matter.

"I arrived two or three hours late; it happens," he said.

"There`s no cause for alarm either. We talked about it, it`s sorted, there`s no need to mix things up."

France play Romania in Paris on Saturday, before tackling Luxembourg in Metz on October 12.

Bureau Report



First Published: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 09:44

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