The France and Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has aggressively retired from international duty after criticising manager Didier Deschamps for his treatment while recuperating from injury.
The defender ruptured an Achilles in the Europa League semi-final in May and missed out on France's World Cup-winning campaign in Russia. Koscielny, 33, said "lots of people disappointed him" during his lay-off. "It feels like a hit on the back of the head," he said. "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 is instructive to note that Koscielny had announced last year that he intended to retire from international football after the World Cup and said missing out on the tournament did not change his mind. But he also said his absence in Russia this summer will remain "a dark step" in his career.
He made 51 appearances for France, making his debut in November 2011, and took part in the European Championships in 2012 and 2016, as well as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. "The injury is one thing, the victory of the World Cup is another," Koscielny said. "I think the victory certainly made me much more psychologically hurt than my injury. "I think I gave the France team what I could. For me, my injury has not changed anything. The Blues are over, after that, I will always be a supporter of the French team but what is certain is that I will not put on the blue jersey. "I have a new state of mind, there will be the Laurent before and the Laurent after injury. I want to continue to Arsenal, I want to return quickly. I want to fight."
With this, His last appearance for France will now be in March in a 3-1 friendly victory over Russia.