Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bernard Reveals Ambition

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bernard Reveals Ambition

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Olivier Bernard last night revealed his burning desire to play international football for France and insisted that some impressive recent displays in a Newcastle shirt could help him force his way into Jacques Santini's star-studded squad.

But the 24-year-old admitted that his immediate ambitions lie with club rather than country as he set his sights on overcoming Liverpool tomorrow in a fixture he knows could prove crucial to the club's hopes of returning to the Champions League arena next term.

Bernard has established himself as a key member of Sir Bobby Robson's first-choice line-up this season and, having produced some vastly-improved performances of late, is enjoying his spell in the United spotlight.

And, having finally achieved his main target of securing regular action at St James's Park, the talented full-back is keen to take his career to the next level by becoming one of Les Bleus' elite footballers.

"I'm like any footballer in that I want to be the best," explained the former Lyon prospect who, having come close to quitting Tyneside at the start of last season, is reaping the rewards of staying put to work under the English game's most experienced manager.

"You cannot say that you are the best until you have appeared for your country. So, although doing well for Newcastle is all that matters to me at the minute, it is always in my mind that I want to play for France.

"Before I hope to get a call-up I know that I have to play well for Newcastle. But even then I know it will be very difficult because the French squad is one of the best in the world, they are so strong in all positions positions and it is hard for any new player to get in. I'm pleased with the way I'm playing at the moment but I would need to do even better for Newcastle to win a place for France. …

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