French coach Raymond Domenech remains hopeful of persuading Zinedine Zidane and Lilian Thuram to continue their international careers.

Asked by the Nice-Matin newspaper about the scale of the challenge he faces, Domenech said he would have preferred to have been “able to count on (Bixente) Lizarazu, (Lilian) Thuram or Zidane, who are really great champions.

“I’m not giving up hope of convincing at least the latter two to think out the situation well: they still have an important role to play with the ‘Bleus’,” Domenech said.

“The ball is their court, but they must decide quickly.”

Thuram, Lizarazu and fellow defender Marcel Desailly have all recently announced their retirement from international football, while Zidane has yet to make a decision about whether to continue playing for France.

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