By Joe Brewin

Laurent Koscielny cannot wait to take part in his first major international tournament - but his joy is tempered by Bacary Sagna’s absence.

The Arsenal right back was ruled out of France’s Euro 2012 campaign after breaking his leg in the 3-3 draw with Norwich City in May.

Koscielny knows the injury is a huge blow for his club-mate but insists his compatriot will return from his setback even stronger.

“Bac is a very nice guy off the pitch and he has been very professional because it is the second time he has been injured like this,” Koscielny told Arsenal Player. “I think it is really hard for him because he trained hard to come back and help the team.

“So for him not to be in the French squad is disappointing. But I know Bac, he will come back stronger and next season he will be very important for us.”

France managed to avoid the likes of Spain, Germany and Holland when they were drawn in Group D. All the same, Koscielny insists Laurent Blanc’s side still have their work cut out with England, Ukraine and Sweden standing in their way.  

“We have a difficult group even though everybody else said it would be easy,” said the defender. “We have England and we know their players.

“After that you have Ukraine who play at home. We played them last year in Shakhtar and the atmosphere was amazing. Sweden have a lot of good players like Ibrahimovic. It will be a hard group and difficult to be in the top two places but we want to qualify for the quarter-finals.”

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7 Jun 2012