Saints midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin still has hope of making it to the World Cup after being named in the France squad as a back-up.
Head coach Didier Deschamps this evening named the player as one of his seven stand-by players, outside of his 23-man main party for Brazil.
Schneiderlin has never been capped at senior level by his country and, as recently as a few weeks ago, had conceded his World Cup hopes were over.
But the 24-year-old has in fact remained on Deschamps’ radar and, over the past week, it had become apparent that he was being considered for a spot.
It is a fine reward for two exceptional seasons that he has produced in the Premier League, emerging as one of the division’s best defensive midfielders.
Schneiderlin was the runaway winner of the 2012/13 Saints player of the season award, and has backed that up with another outstanding campaign this term.
He has long held ambitions of playing for his country at senior level, but had yet to be recognised beyond the under-21s before today.
Schneiderlin had become increasingly frustrated at being overlooked by Deschamps, to the point that, in March, he hinted he would potentially even consider switching allegiance to England.
That would not be possible under FIFA regulations, and was something that Schneiderlin was never likely to actively . But there was no doubt that the midfielder felt a sense of hurt at being ignored, and the prospects for this summer looked glum after he failed to make it into the squad for France’s last friendly, against the Netherlands, in March.
However, Schneiderlin is now Brazil bound, increasing the total number of Saints players who are heading to South America this summer.
France have been drawn in Group E at the World Cup, alongside Switzerland, Ecuador and Honduras.
They tune up for the tournament with friendlies against Norway, Paraguay and Jamaica.
Goalkeepers: Lloris, Mandanda, Landreau,
Defenders: Evra, Digne, Debuchy, Sagna, Varane, Mangala, Koscielny, Sakho
Midfielders: Cabaye, Grenier, Matuidi, Mavuba, Pogba, Sissoko,
Forwards: Benzema, Giroud, Griezmann, Rémy, Ribéry, Valbuena
Reserves: Cabella Gonalons Lacazette Perrin Ruffier Schneiderlin Tremoulinas