Football Ligue 1

Snubbed France star: I’m not immature

A French footballer who snubbed for the 2018 World Cup has explained his decision to reject a chance to be on the team’s stand-by list for the tournament.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot was named on the standby list along with Manchester United’s Anthony Martial in case anybody from the final 23-man squad gets injured.

Rabiot has since rejected the chance to be on the reserve list and he has now explained why.

“I suspected the impact my decision would have, but I refuse to be caricatured as a young immature player unable to measure the scope of his actions.

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“Football is my job, but football is also my passion, I’ve worked again and again to climb to the highest level and everything I have achieved so far I have done through hard work.

“And then I have a dream, like all footballers, it’s playing for my country.

“Wearing the blue jersey is for me an honour, a pride. To win with France, to win for France, is a mission. Since the age of 15, I have represented France at every youth level, waiting for my call-up to the senior side.

“Also, I do not allow anyone to speak on my behalf about my relationship with the French national team. Since my first call-up to the first-team, as a reserve in May 2016, I have played 88 games with my club – PSG, a big European club -including 13 in the Champions League, scoring nine goals and winning seven trophies.

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“If I decided to withdraw from the standby list, it is because I consider that the manager’s choice does not make any sense; for all these years the message has been clear: it is the performances at club level which open the doors of to the French team.

“I am a competitor without qualms, but I am also a man, and as such, I would have liked to be considered as such.

“My stance does not target the players selected in my place. And I thank Mr. Le Graët, the President of the Federation, for having highlighted the exemplary nature of my selection behaviour over the past eight years.

“Finally, I accept and I will face all the consequences of my choice with the support of my family and my relatives “.

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