Didier Deschamps and Aymeric Laporte’s France divorce revisited

As Spain and France are set to meet this evening with a place in Sunday’s final on the line, the relationship between Didier Deschamps and Aymeric Laporte (30) has once again come back into focus. 

The breakdown of their relationship was widely witnessed just before the Euros in 2021 when Laporte decided to revoke his France eligibility and become a Spanish player. The centre-back had grown frustrated with Deschamps’ unwillingness to select him with two call-ups leading to three appearances on the bench in October 2016 and March 2017. 

Laporte had always dreamed of playing for his birth nation. The defender was born and raised in Agen, France and had represented the French national team from the U17s to the U21s. However, at 27 years old he had grown tired of waiting for Deschamps and France to recognise his abilities. 

He told L’Équipe in 2021, “I want to be with those who want me, not with those who don’t want me. I’m not saying France didn’t want me, but I try to thank those who believe in me, and that’s what happened with Spain.” The centre-back continued, “I wrote to him a few months ago and I didn’t get a response… Maybe he changed his number.” 

A line that was not appreciated by Deschamps who told the press in June 2021, “He was always in the shortlists, but there was competition too. I don’t take a player with the intention of blocking him from having his second choice.” Deschamps continued, “Aside from that what annoys me, is that what has been said is a lie. The only message I received from him was from October about an injury in September, where he was no longer on the shortlist… I wish him the best.” 

It is a position that has not changed in the time since, with Deschamps telling a press conference attended by GFFNI’m not worried. He made his choice. Good luck to him, he must be happy with his choice and that’s the important thing. There is another player who made this choice too because they had the option. There isn’t anything to regret, the important thing is that Aymeric can make the most of his situation and I believe that to be the case.”

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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