Laurent Koscielny announces international retirement

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Arsenal skipper Laurent Koscielny has announced his retirement from international football, and opened up on the mixed feelings he had as France won the World Cup this summer.

The Arsenal man would have been a fixture in the side, but missed out due to the Achilles tendon injury he suffered in May. The 33 year old spoke openly about how being unable to play in Russia was harder for him to deal with than the injury itself.

Speaking to Canal +, he said, “France’s World Cup victory did me a lot more psychological damage than my injury did me.

“I wanted them to qualify for the next round, and at the same time I wanted them to lose. It is a selfish side.

“Certain people will say: ‘How could he want France to lose?’ but that was my feeling in those particular moments.

“I think that I have given everything I can for France, I am 33, I have done two Euros, one World Cup. France has a great generation of great players now.

“My injury does not change my decision. For Les Bleus, it is finished.”

Koscielny also had some harsh words for France coach Didier Deschamps who he felt let down by after the seriousness of the injury he suffered.

“It feels like a hit on the back of the head. 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 emerged earlier this summer that had he not picked up that injury, Koscielny might well have been playing his football elsewhere as he felt the departure of Arsene Wenger might well have been a good time to move on himself.

He is back in training though, and with some doubts over the centre of our defence still, it’d be good to see him return and help shore things up back there.

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Niran
Niran

I feel really sad for him …he did serve his country well.. only a medal was missing to show for it…After he missed out on winning the euros with France he must be devastated not be to be in France’s World cup winning squad.. Considering the fact that most players who missed out on playing for france in the euros are world champions now…O.G is a lucky Man

1993
1993

Deschamps does have a problem. He could’ve taken Laurent instead of Remy as they played the same amount of minutes in Russia. Same for lacazette too.

Owl faced Deeney's cojones
Owl faced Deeney's cojones

First, it is Rami not Loïc Rémy plus have you just waken up after a cryogenic conservation in a pod in an alternate universe to ignore that Kos had a long-term injury?

Sheffield Goon
Sheffield Goon

Good news for us.

Alex
Alex

Lolo said even before his injury that he’d leave the national team after the WC. No big news…

viegunner
viegunner

I like that he admitted he wanted France to lose. Not because it’s admirable, but because he’s being honest.

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

Agreed, how rare is that in this world of anodyne quotes from sportsman looking to “protect the brand”.

eternalflamini
eternalflamini

*sportspeople that should be

Owl faced Deeney's cojones
Owl faced Deeney's cojones

I disagree. That was a piece of disastrous communication. There will be lot of youtube clickbait titles saying Koscielny wanted France to lose. I think Deschamps distributed a letter Kos sent to the team to motivate them. What I don’t like about Deschamps is his italian-style tactics not other things.

Joakim
Joakim

Top man! And a world champion in the eyes of many. A world cup winning team is not built overnight, and Lolo played a big part in it. Look at Germany too. The likes of Podolski, BFG and Schweinsteiger were little more than bit part players when they won it in 2014, but were rightly celebrated as integral figures of the team. Lolo fits that category too, in my book.

No idea how he would fare as a coach. But he can definitely do a lot for Arsenal’s younger (and older) defenders for a few more years. Keep him until retirement.

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

I actually think he comes across as a bit of an arse in this interview. You don’t say that you wanted you country to lose because you weren’t in the team, injured or not. He’s obviously pissed off about missing out but just be grateful his national boss even knew it was his birthday. Its petulance of Yaya Toure levels.

Bob
Bob

But it’s a completely human feeling. You can be happy your country won but feel like you missed out. There’s always that nature of humans, and frankly it takes a lot to admit it. You see the overall sentiment though, that he did want his country to ultimately win, its just a feeling, and I like that he talked about it. Footballers are increasingly seen as separate from normal people, but they still are!

Jimbo Jones
Jimbo Jones

I understand that there are things you feel as a human that you cant hide or escape from but I think he will live to regret what he has said here. For example “France’s World Cup victory did me a lot more psychological damage than my injury did me” this is a leader in the French national team speaking here saying thst the fact his nation won dud more damage than the injury prevented him from being there. A man who was invited especially by France to the final unlike some other injured players. These are not the words of a leader of men and show a lack of awareness of the privilege and responsibility he has. Even worse he goes on to be spiteful about a world cup winning manager, whether people like him or not, and team mates. Ultimately they won the world cup without him and it sounds like he wasnt missed. He will be a footnote in french football history and these comments just leave a sour taste.

Wengerballz
Wengerballz

On point

Bob
Bob

I have to agree with you there Jimbo. It won’t do him any favours speaking like this, no matter how honest it is. It’s a lot easier to take a pat on the head and leave the team (Ozil case in point too!) and it can really be taken as face value and hurt him. I hope (but don’t really believe) that in general people will see it as it is, a footballer being candid and human. But seeing the reporting and papers headlines taken from this interview already, it’s just going to be used to make more controversy and more #content 🙁

Owl faced Deeney's cojones
Owl faced Deeney's cojones

Even careless Benzema would have been more cautious is such interview.

Irrational Gunner

It is poignant. He puts himself above the team in this interview, and honest or not, that is a big no-no for a squad professional/team captain. Laurent is starting to sound like a player that is seeing the end coming sooner than expected, and having a difficult time dealing with it.

A P
A P

I wonder what you will say if ‘France’is swapped with ‘Arsenal’. Same logic.

Devlin
Devlin

Scheweinsteiger started all the games besides the first 2 of the tournament, Mertesaker played the first 4 games as a starter and only missed 1 game overall. Podolski was the only bit part player.

Thierry bergkamp
Thierry bergkamp

Things could have played out much differently had he been fit and in the team.

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

Thats been the story of Arsenal for the last decade. What could of been.. only for injuries!

sambo
sambo

Honestly a Rolls Royce of a defender cut from the same cloth as many greats before him and he could have moved to any big club in the world and started. I actually have a gripe with how we didn’t go out and spend some money on the defender we so obviously needed and played him into the ground on that obvious injury until we ruled him out of the WC, something I’m sure he is not happy about either.

James
James

Rolls Royce lol. What planet are you living on? He’s a nothing player. No leadership qualities whatsoever. We competed for nothing of any importance while he was at the club. The list of calamitous errors in big games reads as long as the bible. It’s the end of the road for France, and hopefully Arsenal – we need to move on.

Mesut O'Neill
Mesut O'Neill

So we have to pay his wages while he recovers from injury only for him to fuck off in June!!

I like him as a player but to publicly declare that you would have left if you hadn’t been injured is a slap in the face of every fan.

Parisian Weetabix
Parisian Weetabix

Except it’s not, because:
– For starters it was his agent who said all that stuff, not him.
– He’s played for this club for ages, through good times and bad and through the best part of his career, rather than just using us before going on to ‘bigger’ things as many others have. I don’t think anyone could begrudge him a move.
– Wenger was the man who brought him to the club, and it would have made a certain amount of sense if he’d decided to leave alongside the man who convinced him to join and for whom he so enjoyed playing.
– He said he couldn’t see himself playing for another English club than Arsenal, which hints pretty strongly at a genuine love for the club.
– He got injured playing for the club. Clubs pay players knowing there’s a risk of them getting injured, and I think Kos made it clear that he was also pretty hacked off at the injury by the way that his handprints are still visible in the turf at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Players move. It’s part of football. Kos has done about as much for Arsenal as anyone over the years, and if there’s any current player we ought to be grateful to for his talent and consistency over the best part of a decade, it’s surely him.

Jorin
Jorin

Well said @Parisian Weetabix.

Nope
Nope

Kos has been a great servant of the club. Playing through injury for much of it. However, he is finished at this level.

If you think he will come back to a decent level after suffering an achilles rupture such as his you’re deluding yourself . Bringing him back into the side will coincide with the increase of goals through unforced errors.

ArsonWenger
ArsonWenger

Maybe he won’t be at his best but he may still be pivotal especially if we should lose one or two Cbacks second half of season.

Better to have him than not.

People tend to gloss over the fact that he started off very poorly for us in his first season with plenty of reds, penalties conceded and own goals.

BUT there is also no denying he has been a stalwart and a superb defender from then on only recently plagued by age and injuries.

clins
clins

sure he will play for arsenal again, he doesnt need to be perfect he just needs t be better than mustafi, which wont be a hard thing

Lord Bendnter
Lord Bendnter

I know that selfish feeling he’s referring to. Hmm would make a good anime theme actually…
Hopefully he becomes our rock in the back again. And you know what, even if he doesn’t, so what, salute to him always for his hard work, dedication, and all the wonderful moments he as provided us with at this club. Mad Respect to you Sir, mad Respect…

Georgeycharles
Georgeycharles

That’s life Lorent, it can soon get lonely when you’re out of the game for a while and not just in football. It’s human nature; I bet Deschamps kept meaning to ring for ages and then your birthday comes along and it’s the perfect opportunity – “hey Laurent it’s me, Didier, how’s it going pal ?.….”

santori
santori

I expect this is his swansong season with us too.

Probably when he returns from injury and is fit, we will let Mavropanos out on loan to develop further.

He may yet have a massive role for us particularly later stage of season and should we progress through with cups.

santori
santori

Lots of exciting younger French Cbacks coming through in Laporte, Lenglet, Pavard etc.

adgonner
adgonner

I feel Kos is suffering from depression. He has been pretty subdued over past 3-4 seasons. Not really doubting his performances, but somehow gives me the feeling that he has not been enjoying himself. Hope he is taking care of himself.

Gooners & Roses
Gooners & Roses

Kos with the winner on UEL 2018/2019 FINAL! COYG!

Igbo Amadi-Obi
Igbo Amadi-Obi

You have to ask how much shoring up he was doing for us in the past. As good as he may be, collectively he has been part of our poor defensive output in the recent past. I recall Pogba(!) dominating him last season.

Anyway, I think he should be considering his Arsenal retirement as well. A major Achilles tear at 33 is usually a career ender.

Wengerballz
Wengerballz

There’s 40ish players in and around the first team. Plus the coaching staff. And the second team. Do you think the coach has time to call everyone everyday for a chat? Why didn’t you call him? I feel like I’m hearing a teenage girl bitching about her social life.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

You have no heart…but that is your problem not mine.

Yankee Gooner
Yankee Gooner

Weird, I got the same feeling reading this comment.

Gunnerer
Gunnerer

Lolo and Nacho. What I really love about Arsenal

Merteslacker
Merteslacker

Sanogo and Leno. An ode to Arsenal

Super Joshi
Super Joshi

It was heartbreaking watching that final knowing he was watching on injured.

Teryima Adi
Teryima Adi

May the good Lord heal the hurt in your soul, Bro.

Tony Adams Nose
Tony Adams Nose

You can’t help but feel sorry for Kozzy but that’s football. I think he will find it very difficult to get a regular place back after his recovery. I can see Holding pushing Mustafi out and he and Sok becoming the favored pairing at CB.