Date: 16th May 2006 at 11:58pm
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Jean-Alain Boumsong has put aside his horror Premiership season and looks forward to the World Cup. The Toon defender has tipped France as World Cup dark horses.

The 26-year-old defender has defied the odds and will head for Germany with the French side, despite many suggesting he would be over-looked.

Boumsong: ‘I’m delighted to be in the squad. It always makes you very proud to represent your country, especially in a competition like the World Cup. We are not one of the favourites this time, but I believe we have a good chance to win it.

‘People are talking about teams like Brazil and England and some others, but our senior players – our leaders, like Zidane, Makelele and Thuram – are big players for us and if they are all fit, then we will have a chance.

‘We are a strong side, and the fact we are not one of the favourites could help us. We are going into the tournament in a good position, and we are looking forward to it.’