‘My role is to not show my frustration’ – Ibrahima Konaté reacts to being relegated to a backup role with France

Many would have expected Ibrahima Konaté (25) to start for France in Euro 2024, not least the Liverpool defender himself, who was a regular alongside Bayern Munich’s Dayot Upamecano in the lead-up to the tournament. 

However, thus far, Didier Deschamps has thus far opted to start Arsenal’s William Saliba, who has come off the back of another strong and consistent Premier League campaign. As a result of that demotion in the hierarchy, Konaté has not played a single minute in Euro 2024 so far, although he does remain a trustworthy option for Deschamps. 

Speaking at a press conference, transcribed by RMC Sport, Konaté reflected on that demotion. “I am lucky to have my own self-reflection. I can bring a lot of positive things to the team. My role is to not show my frustration. I’m playing Playstation, I am speaking with everyone, I am happy to be here, even if I want to be playing,”  said the Liverpool centre-back. 

Konaté will be in contention to face Belgium in the Round of 16. He had been absent from Saturday’s training session after suffering a minor knock, however, he returned to first-team training, as expected, on Sunday. However, it looks highly unlikely that he will dislodge either Saliba or Upamecano and feature for Les Bleus on Monday. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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