Malouda disappointed to be left out

KNYSNA - Florent Malouda has had problems with Raymond Domenech in the past but said on Tuesday that reports he had fallen out with the France coach again since the start of the World Cup were not true.

Malouda was left out of the starting lineup for France's opening 0-0 draw with Uruguay on Friday and French media speculated the winger had paid the price for a heated exchange with the coach the previous day in training.

A separate report suggested he had not accepted Domenech's decision to make him play a more defensive role, on the left side of midfield rather than on the wing.

"I have always accepted what the coach decided," Malouda said when asked about the reports. "I did expect to start and was surprised not to but it's no drama.

"The day before the match, I made two fouls (in training) and he (Domenech) raised his voice a bit, that was all," Malouda told reporters at France's training camp in Knysna, Western Cape.

The French Guiana-born Malouda did not play for France for almost a full season after facing criticism for lacklustre performances at Euro 2008, in which France crashed out in the first round.


Malouda then deplored the fact that Domenech did not support him when he was under fire and French media speculated he was left out of the team as a result of his remarks.

"After 2008 I took loads of stick," Malouda said. "It hurt me and it hurt my family but then we went on holiday and they comforted me, telling me they wanted to see me wearing the France shirt again."

The 30-year-old, who has had a strong season with Chelsea and was excellent when he came on against Uruguay, was expected to be back in the starting line-up for France's second Group A game against Mexico in Polokwane on Thursday.

"I'll accept whatever the coach decides," he said. "He's the boss."

Aware that France need more fire power up front to make an impact at this World Cup, Malouda warned fans, however, not to ask too much from him.

"I have 55 caps and have scored just three goals," he said. "I'm not going to solve France's problems all by myself."

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