MORGAN Schneiderlin last night became the latest Saint to make his senior international debut.
The 24-year-old came on for the last few minutes as France warmed up for the World Cup in Brazil by hammering Jamaica 8-0 in a friendly.
Schneiderlin – the 13th Saints player to play a senior international for his country since last August – was only called into the French squad last Friday following an injury to Clement Grenier.
He will now be hoping to be the fourth member of Saints’ League 1 promotion winning side to play in the forthcoming football festival in South America.
Schneiderlin joins England trio Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in making the remarkable three-year journey from the third division to a World Cup in Brazil.
Schneiderlin is not expected to start for Les Bleus in the World Cup, with Paul Pogba, Yohan Cabaye, Blaise Matuidi, Rio Mavuba and Moussa Sissoko all competing for central mifield slots.
France coach Didier Deschamps last night started with Cabaye, Matuidi and Sissoko as his three main midfielders.
Jamaica were under the cosh throughout, with ex-Newcastle man Cabaye starting the rout in the 17th minute.
Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud was also among the scorers, while Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema scored twice before he made way for Schneiderlin in the 86th minute.
Schneiderlin was the fifth Saints player to make his senior international debut since last August, following England quartet Lambert, Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Luke Shaw.
Others to have played senior games for their country in 2013/14 are Artur Boruc, Dejan Lovren, Maya Yoshida, Victor Wanyama, Steven Davis, Gaston Ramirez, Dani Osvaldo and Emmanuel Mayuka.
Saints have also had four players appear for England under-21s or England under-19s – James Ward-Prowse, Calum Chambers, Sam Gallagher and Matt Targett.
Schneiderlin, meanwhile, admits he almost did not pick up the telephone to Deschamps last Thursday.
Along with Montpellier winger Remy Cabella, the Saints ace was called up to fill the void left in the squad by injuries to Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery and Lyon midfielder Grenier.
“I didn't answer the call to start with because I did not recognise the number,” Schneiderlin said.
Once Deschamps made contact, though, he had exciting news for Schneiderlin.
“He told me two players were injured so I needed to be ready, and that he would contact me the next day to tell me if I must come," said the Saints player.
“After that call, I needed a bit of time before I could sleep because I couldn't stop thinking about what would happen the next day.
“He did not promise me anything, just that I needed to be ready. It was certainly not the easiest night I have had.
“Then Friday, he called me and told me I needed to come. It was an incredible day.
“I can't believe it - everything has happened so quickly.”