Bleus downplay Makelele row
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Raymond Domenech insists the club versus country row over Claude Makelele is over.
Raymond Domenech insists the club versus country row over midfielder Claude Makelele has been cleared up.
The dispute arose after the Chelsea man was called up for the national team despite declaring he had retired from international football after the World Cup in Germany.
While the 33-year-old eventually backed down and conceded he would help the team in their quest to the finals, the English champions still have concerns about the veteran struggling with the workload.
Domenech maintains he will use the player sparingly, but has refused to comment on Makelele's pledge to quit before the tournament itself.
"I know perfectly well that Claude may not necessarily play all the games in the year because there are other players too and at a certain time he will stop," Domenech explained.
"There is nothing worse than a direct and definitive end to a career. You should prepare to stop little by little, with a deadline.
"To me, he is here, and there are matches to play, a qualification to get.
"Later, much later, we will talk. We will have to talk about everyone's future in the national team after the qualifiers."
Les Bleus meanwhile, face table toppers Scotland in a crunch showdown live on Sky Sports 1 from 5pm on Saturday, with doubts over a couple of key players.
Striker Louis Saha has been suffering with groin trouble, while forward Sidney Govou sprained his ankle in Lyon's 1-0 victory at Sochaux on Saturday.
Both players are set for late fitness tests before making the trip to Glasgow.