Patrice Evra returned to International football after being suspended by the FFA for his part in the protests against the former French manager Raymond Domenech.

As captain, Evra was seen as a ring-leader, a role which he himself denies having.

Ahead of France’s 2-0 win over Luxembourg this weekend, former Arsenal midfielder, Robert Pires, expressed his sympathy for Evra and the rest.

“I sympathise with the players. They were managed by a madman – Raymond Domenech,” he said. “I speak from experience. When I was called up to play for France, when he was in charge, I felt I was going to a madhouse. I was physically sick. Arsene Wenger used to ask me what was wrong. I would reply that I didn’t want to go there. The man is insane.”

Evra’s return has meant that Gael Clichy, who filled in during our player’s absence, was missing from Laurent Blanc’s squad.

“It’s difficult to accept, but it’s part of the game,” Clichy told L’Equipe. “Even if there is no hierarchy, I know it’s there. I’m not going to lie to you: it’s disappointing, it is no fun, but I knew it was possible. I was prepared.”