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Jan 7, 2014

Cisse not giving up on World Cup call

Djibril Cisse has told L'Equipe "few players would have come back" after suffering the setbacks that have punctuated his career as he sets his sights on a return to the French national side.

Cisse, 32, signed a year-and-a-half-long deal with Bastia on New Year's Day with the aim of not only scoring the six goals which will take him to a century of Ligue 1 strikes but also of impressing sufficiently with the Corsican club to earn a place in Didier Deschamps' World Cup squad.

Suspended for Euro 2004, injured ahead of the 2006 World Cup, dropped just before Euro 2008 and part of the infamous 2010 "bus of shame" squad in South Africa, Cisse has been unlucky with international tournaments so far.

However, he believes those disappointments, coupled with the broken leg he suffered while playing for Liverpool in October 2004 and a similar injury sustained in June 2006, have given him faith he can overcome any obstacle.

"It has taught me that after every failure, if you want to do it and you give yourself every chance, nothing can stop you. Technically, I'm perhaps not the most gifted, but mentally, few players would have come back after the two serious injuries and such disappointments with the French national team. It's given me mental strength. I never give up," Cisse explained, adding he hopes to prove the doubters wrong.

"If I know that I can do something and people doubt me, I do everything I can to prove to them they're mistaken."

Though Cisse has not played for France since October 2011, his ambition of once again pulling on the blue shirt of his country is not entirely unrealistic. While Olivier Giroud and Karim Benzema are, injury permitting, certain to go to Brazil, Deschamps could take a third recognised forward.

Loic Remy, Bafetimbi Gomis and Andre-Pierre Gignac appear to be ahead of Cisse in the pecking order. Previously, Deschamps has criticised players, notably Lassana Diarra, for moving to Russia, favouring a high salary over their international career. After leaving Kuban Krasnodar to return to France and -- by his own admission -- more than halving his salary, Cisse is confident he can upset the odds.

"They have the advantage of knowing the squad. I'm coming from a long way behind, but perhaps that's better. I'm motivated, that's for sure, at 100 percent," the former Marseille, Panathinaikos and Lazio striker, who has struck nine times in 41 international appearances, explained.

"With Bastia, I'll have better exposure than in Greece. It's now up to me to show myself. I don't think there is a black list and I don't think I've shown a lack of respect to the national team coach."

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