Domenech offers Vieira World Cup hope

PARIS - Patrick Vieira has a strong chance of fighting his way into the France squad for this year's World Cup if his move from Inter Milan to Manchester City proves a success, national coach Raymond Domenech said on Friday.

Vieira, who played his last competitive international in September 2007 and started just seven games for Inter this season, said on Thursday he was joining City to get more playing time in a bid to regain a spot in the France team.

"His departure from Milan is good news. We had been talking about it for months. Patrick needed to play, never mind where, and what's more, he ends up at a very good club," Domenech told sports daily L'Equipe.

"It's good for him, it's good for Les Bleus," he added.

"If he plays and if he plays at his true level, there is no reason why he shouldn't come to South Africa.

"He is a talented player with a lot of experience and charisma. If he plays, he will be more than a candidate."

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