Vieira rules out playing for France again

PARIS - Former France captain Patrick Vieira said on Saturday he would not be available for selection under new coach Laurent Blanc, which could mean his prolific international football career is over.

Vieira, 34, now past his prime, was not included by coach Raymond Domenech in the French World Cup squad, whose group stage exit from the finals in South Africa was engulfed in scandal after players boycotted a training session.

Asked on French television channel Canal Plus if he would be available for selection under Blanc, who will now replace Domenech, Vieira said: "No, it wouldn't be reasonable."

One of the world's finest holding midfielders, Vieira was a prominent member of France's 1998 World Cup and 2000 European championship-winning teams. He has scored six goals from 107 internationals.

The Senegal-born Vieira's club career features spells at AC Milan, Arsenal, Juventus and Inter Milan. He now plays for Manchester City.

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