Dimitri Payet staked his Euro 2016 claims with a sumptuous strike for France that he called a “beautiful birthday present”.
The West Ham midfielder came off the bench for his country in the second half against Russia on Tuesday night and moments later curled in a brilliant 30-yard free-kick.
It put France 3-1 clear, and they went on to win 4-2 in Paris.
Now Payet, who turned 29 on Tuesday, is hoping to persuade France boss Didier Deschamps to include him in his plans for the tournament Les Bleus host this summer.
“It’s a beautiful 29th birthday present,” Payet said. “The free-kick was my first touch, I’ve been a bit lucky.”
As for whether it has helped his cause to make the squad this summer, the former Marseille man added on the French Football Federation website: “I don’t know if I’ve scored any points, I tried to do the best I could.
“If I don’t go to the Euros? I’ll be disappointed but it’s the same for every player.”