‘It’s over with Les Bleus’: Arsenal’s Koscielny Says France Career Is Finished

'Devastated' Koscielny Ruled Out Of World Cup
Arsenal’s French defender Laurent Koscielny eyes the ball during the UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg football match against Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on May 3, 2018. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny, who missed France’s World Cup triumph in Russia due to injury, said on Sunday his international career was “finished”.

The 33-year-old had intended to retire from France duty following the tournament, but the defender was ruled out of Didier Deschamps’ squad for the finals after rupturing his Achilles tendon in May.

“The injury is one thing, the World Cup win is another. I think the victory certainly hurt me much more psychologically than my injury,” Koscielny told Canal Plus.

“The World Cup will remain a dark stage of my career and my life.”

“I think I’ve given what I could to the France team. I’m 33 now. I’ve been to two Euros, a World Cup. For me, my injury hasn’t changed anything,” he said.

“It’s over with Les Bleus. I will always be a France supporter but what is sure is that I will never put on the blue shirt again.”

Koscielny has yet to return for Arsenal since hurting himself during the second leg of last season’s Europa League semi-final defeat by Atletico Madrid.

“I have a new mindset. There will be the Laurent before and the Laurent after the injury. I want to carry on at Arsenal and I want to come back soon,” he said.

“I don’t know what level I’m going to have because I haven’t resumed training yet, but I want to fight in any event.”

Koscielny made his France debut in November 2011 in a friendly against the United States. He earned the last of his 51 caps in a 3-1 victory over Russia in March.

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France Advance Into Euro 2016 Quarter-Finals

Euro 2016, France,Host country France had to battle from a goal down to beat the Republic of Ireland to reach the quarter-finals at the ongoing euro championship.

Ireland got off to a stunning start in the second minute, as Robbie Brady converted a penalty after Shane Long was fouled in the box.

But the French team hit back through Antoine Griezmann, who nodded in the equaliser before driving in the winning goal, both in the second half.

“I knew it was going to be a difficult match, and when Ireland took the lead it made us a bit more uncomfortable in the first half.

They showed a lot of enthusiasm but we had to dig deep, get through the situation and get in front,” France coach, Didier Deschamps, said.

He also explained his half time change which brought in Conman for Kante, “It was to get more presence up front. Ireland were quite deep so we wanted to get Griezmann closer to Giroud, bring on some speed with Coman and use the wings a bit better.

“But above all, to get more presence up front – the four attacking players all created chances.”

The Republic of Ireland ended the match with 10 men as Shane Duffy was sent off for a professional foul on Griezmann.

Didier Deschamps’s side will face England or Iceland in the next round at Stade de France on Sunday.

Euro 2016: Deschamp, Payet, React To Second Round Qualification

Euro 2016, Payet, DeschampThe coach of the French national team, Didier Deschamps, has praised the effort of his team in qualifying for the round of 16 of the UEFA Euro 2016 with victory over Albania on Wednesday.

The French coach was happy with the performance of France Midfielder, Dimitri Payet, praising his consistency on the ball and will to fight.

“Payet has become more consistent. He’s always had ability and a lot of confidence. Now, in one-on-one situations and challenges, he’s always up for the fight.

“Clearly we didn’t do everything well. If you’ve seen a team that has, please tell me. We were a bit laborious in the first 45 minutes because Albania were physically fresh,” he told Uefa.com.

Deschamp also commended the style of the Albanians, acknowledging their effort in defence and on the counter attack.

“Albania played with a lot of heart and spirit. They defended well and have the ability to counterattack. We might have scored earlier, we had a lot of chances. While it was goalless it was a good result for Albania. It’s always difficult against teams that keep it tight. Once we finally got going we let loose a bit, albeit slightly late in the day.

“Pogba (being on the bench) was more of a tactical decision. With that system I thought we needed two scrappers in the middle of the park. As for Griezmann, I’m managing him. Neither he nor Pogba is happy. Often players who come off the bench can make the difference. That was the case in the opening match and again tonight,” he said.

Meanwhile, Man of the Match, Dimitri Payet, recognizing his efforts, said the late goals have shown how patient the team is in winning games.

“Once again I made the difference and I’ve known for a while that my island (reunion) is right behind me and there is fervent support for Les Bleus. They’re very proud that France have made it through to the last 16.

“What’s great is that the late goals are nothing new. Since March, when we played the Netherlands, we’ve shown that we can go out and win games late on. We had to be patient”, the midfielder said.

Late goals from substitute, Antonio Griezmann and Man of the Match, Dimitri Payet, against Albania secured France qualification into the second round of the Euro 2016.

Euro 2016: Giroud Hopes To Emulate 1998, 2000 Heroes

Giroud, Euro 2016Arsenal striker, Olivier Giroud, hopes to become the latest in a long line of great French strikers to fire his country to glory at this summer’s European Championship.

The 29-year-old enters the tournament as Les Bleus’ leading scorer with 17 goals, including three in their warm-up games against Cameroon and Scotland.

Giroud grew up watching Thierry Henry and David Trezeguet win the 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000, and would love to emulate their success on home soil.

“I was only 11 [in 1998] and it was one of my best memories as a fan of the French national team,” he told Arsenal Player.

“It was fantastic for all the French people to win the World Cup, especially at home. That’s why we want to make our French fans proud this summer.

“It was the continuity of the World Cup (when they went to Euro 2000). They confirmed their great form and almost kept the exact same squad. It is always difficult to win again two years afterwards, but they did very well with a fantastic scenario against Italy at the end of the final.

“I remember the pass from Robert Pires to Sylvain Wiltord, and then the pass to David Trezeguet who found the top-left corner. I couldn’t forget this goal.

“I also remember watching David Ginola, Eric Cantona, Jean-Pierre Papin and strikers like that. I was looking to become a striker. I remember very good players like them, and also Thierry Henry, Trezeguet and Anelka too. We’ve always had very good strikers.

“It’s a great feeling (to be representing France in front of our home fans) and we’re all looking forward to that.

“We want to do well in front of our own fans so we’re going to do everything we can to bring the trophy back home.”