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Gael Clichy played for the French youth teams at all levels before featuring 20 times for the senior team over a five-year period. The ex-Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir left-back didn't enjoy the best of times at senior level on the international football scene as he was always overlooked by the French national team managers.

Gael Clichy received several call-ups to the senior team in 2008 but he didn't make his debut for Les Blues until the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier with Serbia in September 2008. He was in the starting line-up for the Tunisia and Austria games in October 2008. The Tunisia game was an international friendly, while the game against Austria was a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

He then failed to represent his country for over a year before being named in the 30-man French provisional squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa by then manager Raymond Domenech. Gael Clichy made the cut for the tournament as he was the second choice left-back behind first choice Patrice Evra as part of the 23-man squad named by Domenech. France endured a torrid tournament as they finished last in Group A of the tournament. The French players revolted against their manager after Nicholas Anelka was suspended from the squad during the tournament.

Clichy played the final World Cup game for France in South Africa
and it ended in a 2-1 loss to the hosts. The entire French squad including Clichy was then suspended for the international friendly game with Norway. Clichy was also part of the French squad that got to the quarterfinals at Euro 2012 before they were eliminated by eventual winners Spain. Clichy had started the final two group games for Les Blues and he was also in the starting XI for the 2-0 defeat to Spain in the quarterfinals.