Jose Fonte: Southampton captain vows to take Portugal chance
Southampton captain Jose Fonte says he intends to become a regular for his country as he prepares for a possible debut for Portugal.
Fonte, 30, joined Saints in 2010 when they were in League One, and helped them rise through the divisions to a best Premier League finish last season.
And he could make his international debut against France on Saturday.
"I intend to take it with both hands and make it a habit of representing my country," Fonte told BBC Radio Solent.
The defender had hoped to force his way into contention for last summer's World Cup, but has now been given a chance by new Portugal manager Fernando Santos.
|Jose Fonte was named Southampton captain in August and also signed a new three-year contract in that month|
"I had that hope, it didn't happen," he said. "We had a change of manager and he gave me a great opportunity and honour of representing my country. I'm going to give it my best and make everyone proud of me.
"I waited a long time, but I never gave up, that's not part of me. I worked hard trying to be a better player and improve, and at 30, I've managed to get in the squad.
"That gives me a few years in the national team if I keep performing, so I'm going to keep pushing hard and improving,"
Fonte could play against club-mate Morgan Schneiderlin at the Stade de France, the pair having come through the leagues in English football together.
"It's a great story for both of us," he added. "We started in League One and now we are going to meet each other for our countries."