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Desailly ready to eclipse record

Published: Thursday 24 April 2003, 12.17CET
Marcel Desailly could win a record 104th cap for France against Egypt next week after returning to the squad.
 
Published: Thursday 24 April 2003, 12.17CET

Desailly ready to eclipse record

Marcel Desailly could win a record 104th cap for France against Egypt next week after returning to the squad.

Captain Marcel Desailly is back in the France squad for the European champions' friendly against Egypt next Wednesday in Paris.

Record appearance
Desailly, who succeeded Didier Deschamps as captain in 2000, missed the recent UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying victories against Malta and Israel as coach Jacques Santini felt he was not fit enough after recovering from a hip injury. Since then, though, the Chelsea FC defender has returned to regular English Premiership action, and is now in line to gain his 104th cap, passing the record he currently jointly holds with Deschamps.

Trio rested
Emmanuel Petit, Desailly's Chelsea team-mate, is also back in the 18-man squad, as Santini rests UEFA Champions League semi-finalists Zinedine Zidane and Claude Makelele of Real Madrid CF and Juventus FC's Lilian Thuram.

Perfect record
France currently lead EURO 2004™ qualifying Group 1 by nine points after winning all their five fixtures to date. They play their next fixture in the competition at home to Cyprus on 6 September.

France squad
Barthez, Coupet, Desailly, Gallas, Lizarazu, Mexès, Sagnol, Silvestre, Pedretti, Pires, Petit, Rothen, Dacourt, Kapo, Cissé, Govou, Henry, Wiltord.

Last updated: 24/04/03 18.02CET

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