Adil Rami has told L'Equipe he hopes to emerge from one of the darkest periods of his career to clinch a place in France's World Cup squad.
Following critical comments he made of his coach and teammates at Valencia in a radio interview in September, Rami spent three months of the sidelines after being frozen out of the first team by then-boss Miroslav Dukic.
AC Milan offered the imposing centre-back a way out of his Mestalla isolation in January, taking Rami on loan until the end of the season.
The former Lille defender has been slowly eased into life at the San Siro by coach Clarence Seedorf, but has started the Rossoneri's last four league games.
His three-month hiatus in Spain did, however, cost him his place in the France national side. Though Laurent Koscielny, Mamadou Sakho, Raphael Varane and Eric Abidal have seemingly moved ahead of him in Didier Deschamps' plans, Rami remains optimistic he can still sneak into Les Bleus' 23-man squad for the World Cup.
"In the Blanc era, I remember I was under a lot of media pressure concerning the fact I was supposedly burnt out because I was the player who had played the most games before Euro 2012," said Rami, who last featured for his country in last summer's friendly in Brazil.
"Now, the situation is totally different. I'm progressively getting more playing time, I'm on the up and the season is long. I'm a competitor and I still hope to take the plane to Brazil. It's my character to want that, but it'll be down to my performances with AC Milan."