Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny has called time on his international career with France after Les Bleus World Cup triumph ‘did the defender a lot of psychological damage’. The defender also criticised French boss Didier Deschamps.
Confirmation of retirement on French TV
Talking to French TV station Canal+ Koscielny said: “I think that I have given everything I can for France, I am 33, I have done two Euros, one World Cup,”
“France has a great generation of great players now. My injury does not change my decision. For Les Bleus, it is finished.
“When you are in good form, you have lots of friends. When you are injured… after a certain period of time, you are forgotten about. He [Deschamps] called me once for my birthday in September. Otherwise, no. Lots of people disappointed me. Not only the coach. It feels like a hit on the back of the head.
“France’s World Cup victory did me a lot more psychological damage than my injury did me.”
Still recovering from injury
The 33-year-old is currently recovering an injury picked up against Atletico Madrid in May that saw him miss the summer’s World Cup, in which France lifting the trophy.
Koscielny is expected to return to the Gunners squad in around a month’s time after the Achilles problem. The defenders return to the first-team squad will be a welcome one, as he is arguably Arsenal’s best centre-back.
While he is not top class, Koscielny seems to show leadership abilities that few Gunners players possess. Arsenal are certainly a stronger team with Koscielny than without. However, the injury may well have taken a big toll on the defender’s body, as at 33 a player’s body will take longer to recuperate than at 23.
Speculation over his future at Arsenal
Last summer there was speculation that Koscielny may leave the Gunners and his agent hinted that this could be his last season in north London. If that is the case, I am sure that the majority of Arsenal fans will wish the Frenchman well for the future.
A good leaving present would be for the centre-back to help his team return to the Premier League’s top-four, which Arsenal are odds of 6/4 to achieve this season.
Koscielny has obviously taken the decision to retire from the international game to prolong his club career. If he can play on for another couple of years at club level, then he will no doubt believe he has made the right decision.
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