Escude elated by Bleus call

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Sevilla defender Julien Escude has been singing coach Raymond Domenech's praises after earning his first call up to the national squad.

The 27-year-old stopper has been included in the squad for the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Scotland and Faroe Islands, and is desperate to make his mark.

He has won the Uefa Cup, the Supercup and is currently challenging for the Liga title in the early season running, and Escude now wants to take advantage of his French opportunity.

"It is an honour to be called up by the coach," Escude explained.

"When I left Rennes I knew I had to play for big clubs in order to become an international.

"Joining Ajax in the Dutch league was not easy for me, I had to be courageous.

"I was a champion, playing Champions League football and then I had to bounce back.

"I wanted to play in Spain, so Sevilla was the right choice for me. I feel I am improving.

"You are selected to represent your country, but it is the coach who chooses you for your qualities. Now the hardest job is to stay there.

"Domenech has known me since he was coach of France's Under-21 squad.

"He doesn't make a lot of mistakes. He is my role model."

Meanwhile the Bleus boss has dismissed rumours of a rift with Lyon manager Gerard Houllier, who was unhappy that he has not been consulted with.

"I always get information from the players in the clubs," Domenech revealed.

"He probably listened to my last press conference when I said everything was running too smoothly.

"So he has added spice to make things change.

"When I need information I go to the match, I talk to the coaches if they are available.

"At Lyon where there are eight players in the national team, I have an advantage.

"I don't always call everyone each week, it is useless."