Fulham midfielder Steed Malbranque has been called-up by France coach Jacques Santini for France’s friendly against Netherlands in Rotterdam Wednesday.

Malbranque has an excellent season for the Cottagers this season being an every present in the club’s Premiership campaign and scoring 5 goals plus 2 in the FA Cup.The call-up is the Steed’s first involvement with the French national setup since the European Under-21 Championships in 2002.

The talented schemer replaces Zinedine Zidane, who has pulled out of the squad with a groin injury sustained against Sevilla on Sunday.

Malbranque’s call-up comes just a month after the player admitted he was ready to turn his back on France to play international football for Belgium.

“It is very important for me and for my career to play international football,” said Malbranque. “It can enhance your position in the game and everyone wants to be involved in the major tournaments and play on the world stage.”

However, following his late call-up, Malbranque could now win his first cap for France in a friendly game with Holland in Rotterdam.

Fulham boss Chris Coleman hopes Steed Malbranque’s France call-up will persuade his stars to stay at Fulham.

“It is important that we can persuade players they are able to fulfil their ambitions here at Fulham,” he said.