Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye has admitted he "missed" playing for France as his uncertain club future meant he was left out of Didier Deschamps' plans.
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Cabaye, 27, was not called up by Deschamps for Les Bleus' friendly with Belgium in August nor the 2014 World Cup double-header in Georgia and Belarus in the following month after missing the first two Premier League games of the season as he sought to force the Magpies into selling him to Arsenal.
The former Lille man has since apologised to Newcastle fans and returned to Alan Pardew's team, notably producing a magnificent display in last weekend's 2-1 victory at Cardiff, and is now in line to make his first international appearance since early June having been included in the France squad for Friday's friendly with Australia.
"I've missed it," he said. "It's not easy to stay at home when you see the national team playing and you have the chance to be there. I was left out for various reasons, mostly because I wasn't playing with my club. It's been a long time since I played. That gave me more hunger and motivation to give more of myself, play good games, and come back as quickly as possible. I'm here today and I'm very happy."
Central to Pardew's plans since he swapped northern France for northern England in 2011, Cabaye's Premier League performances enabled him to establish himself as first-choice for his country.
One of the rare France players to emerge from Euro 2012 with any credit, he now hopes to cement his place in the national side ahead of next summer's World Cup.
"It's going to take a very good season with my club, try and get the best possible results and be in the 23-man squad for the World Cup, if we qualify. I prepared all summer long to be ready for this season, and I'm continuing to work. The months of August and September when I wasn't called up gave me extra strength to come back very quickly. Now I want to stay with Les Bleus for as long as possible."