Liverpool's all-action midfielder Mohamed Sissoko insists he is proud to represent Mali despite admitting any player would 'love' to play for France.
The 21-year-old star was born near Rouen but was unwilling to wait and see if Les Bleus came calling after he moved to Valencia from Auxerre in 2003.
Sissoko has since represented Mali, but, pressed on the issue of his nationality by the French media, has now admitted he would have been pleased to play for Raymond Domenech's World Cup finalists.
However, the athletic midfielder says he is more than happy representing the African nation and that Mali can stake a real claim for qualification for the 2010 World Cup.
"Anyone would love to play for the French team," Sissoko told L'Equipe.
"But I made my choice and it is impossible to go back.
"I am proud to play for Mali.
"With Mahamadou Diarra, Kanoute, Seydou Keita, Djimi Traore, Adama Coulibaly, Kante and Eric Chelle we have a big team to, capable of qualifying for 2010 World Cup."
The Reds star also explained how his family is a strong motivation for his on-going success in the world of professional football.
"Every morning my father woke up at 5am to go to the factory," Sissoko revealed.
"Getting out of my condition to improve my parents' lives has always been an additional motivation.
"It is not because I am playing at Liverpool that I believe I've made it.
"Football gave me an opportunity but I have worked hard to seize it and I wont give up and not go on."