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Nasri hungry for French World Cup resurgence

SoccerNews in Ligue 1, World Cup 3 Sep 2008

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Arsenal star Samir Nasri will do anything to banish memories of France's disastrous European Championships – even if it means missing the Muslim celebration of ramadan.

The young midfielder has earmarked this weekend's World Cup qualifier against Austria as the perfect time to show that France is still a top force in international football.

“People often say to me that the Euro was a bad experience, but I don't see it like that,” Nasri told reporters at the team's training camp on Tuesday.

“When you experience failure as a young person you try not to reproduce the same errors,” he said.

“We're in the mood for revenge and want to do well to show another side (to our game), one with more quality than you saw at the Euros.”

Nasri said he will not participate in ramadan, the Muslim practice of fasting during daytime during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

“I will not be celebrating ramadan. It is difficult to with the summer schedule. And with the back-to-back matches it is not good for the body.”

The former Marseille star said he was enjoying life in London, not least because he has found a veritable home from home.

“It's going well. The environment pleases me: it is all young people, and a lot of the players speak French. In the dressing room speaking English is complicated: between the French, the Swiss guys, the Africans and the coach, everyone speaks French!

“On the field in our last match (Saturday's 3-0 win over Newcastle) we saw the true Arsenal style. It's a real pleasure to play in this team.”

He added: “I hope to bring something to the team. Playing for Arsenal, you evolve with the cream of European football, and as a result you reach the level of the France team.”

Nasri's confidence will come as a fillip to under-scrutiny coach Raymond Domenech, who on Tuesday was bullish ahead of the two crucial games.

“I don't have the feeling that the pressure is any less than in previous years,” he said.

“I've always approached the game by telling myself 'this could be the last match'. On my arrival in 2004, I'm not sure the pressure was any less.”

Last month, Domenech played down rumours that he had been given a points ultimatum for upcoming qualifiers, as the French football federation (FFF) look to the South Africa tournament to make amends for the Euro 2008 flop.

Domenech, 56, has rejigged his squad due to injuries – out is Marseille star Hatem Ben Arfa and Patrick Vieira and in come Rennes' Jimmy Briand and AC Milan's Mathieu Flamini.

“'Pat' (Vieira) is still a big player but he is injured and everyone hopes he will return,” the former Arsenal player Flamini said.

“I want to have my chance to prove what I am worth. It is up to the coach to decide but I want to shine.”

France begin their World Cup qualifying campaign against Austria on September 6 and Serbia on September 10.

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Saidu Adamu Jalo
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Saidu Adamu Jalo

Please may I ask if this Samir Nasri is a real muslim. The Ramadan fasting is an obligation in Islam where as the game is not. cant you forfeit this single game and look forward to another game next time? Take a good example from your teammate Kolo Toure.

Siddique
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Siddique

What kind of muslim is he,i can understand if it was one or two matches because its allowed when you play yet you have to pay it back,yet he was saying overall that because its very hot he won’t be fasting,what a prick,you should take fredi kanoute as an example,he said that while playing,fasting makes him feel even better.Allahu Akbar.

Zlatan
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Zlatan

Just who the fuck do you think you are to judge others and their decisions?! That can only be done by God himself, and both of you should know that. TOLERANCE is the word that you should put into your dictionary

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