Thuram yet to decide on France international future

August 12, 2006

PARIS, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Barcelona defender Lilian Thuram said he will not be rushed into accepting to play again for France when the World Cup runners-up travel to Georgia for their first Euro 2008 qualifier next month.

Thuram, who joined the Spanish champions from demoted Juventus during the close season, was instrumental in France's progress to the final in Germany last month after coming out of international retirement last year.

'I will think a lot before I make a decision,' Thuram said.

'I am very likely to be called up (by coach Raymond Domenech),' he told French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche in an interview to be published on Sunday.

'My decision will not be linked to his decision. It will not influence me,' the 34-year-old added.

Thuram, who has won 121 caps for Les Bleus, was first picked by Domenech for a friendly against Ivory Coast in August 2005 more than a year after announcing his international retirement.

Zinedine Zidane and Claude Makelele had decided to come out of international retirement of their own accord to help a struggling France team but Thuram was more reluctant and said he had to wait for Domenech to ask him to return.

The French play Georgia in Tbilisi on Sept. 2 then host Italy four days later at the Stade de France in a rematch of the World Cup final in Berlin that Les Bleus lost on penalties.

Thuram was not called up for Wednesday's friendly against Bosnia because he has to play in the Spanish Supercup match with Barcelona against city rivals Espanyol on Thursday.