“If you had called me yesterday to ask me the question, I would not have answered you. Didier Deschamps was not unhappy on Thursday at the surprise effect created by his decision to recall Adrien Rabiot to the France team. At 25, the Juventus Turin midfielder is back in favor, a little more than two years after his decision to refuse to join the reserve list for the 2018 World Cup. Three weeks before the competition, the player who was then playing at PSG had sent an email indicating that he would not be available to the Blues as a substitute.
“I’m not in the habit of notifying players when I take them,” said the coach. It can happen that I warn some who have a status, a background and that I do not retain them for a big competition. Non. I dare think he will be there on Monday. I will have the opportunity to discuss with him, of course. “
“There is no more patriot than Adrien Rabiot”
Rest assured, the presence at Clairefontaine for a gathering under the bell of the “Duke” is not in doubt. He had already declared himself available at the beginning of the year, explaining “it is a choice of the coach” and relying on ” [s]performance ”. It is on these criteria that Deschamps was based to send him his first preconvocation since the psychodrama of May 2018, then his first convocation: “We continued to follow Adrien. He has returned to a very good level with his club, Juventus Turin. It happened what happened, we can not go back, neither us nor him. You know me, I don’t like to take radical positions. “
Adrien Rabiot reacted to his selection by posting on his Instagram profile the list of Blues with a heart and a tricolor. “We can only be happy in these circumstances, blows his lawyer Me Arnaud Péricard, who spoke to him after his summons. It means that nothing is frozen or stopped. I think it’s good that the manager was open-minded and took athletic performance into account. Adrien, few people know him. There is no more patriot than Adrien Rabiot. It turns a page, that’s good. “
The way surprises, while Noël Le Graët had initially considered meeting Rabiot. The meeting had failed. Due to the player’s mother and advisor according to the president, which led the latter to call him a “liar”. NLG was obviously aware of the decision of his coach, who calls him every time he leaves the meeting where he finalizes the list with his assistants Guy Stéphan and Franck Raviot.
“We should have been stupid …”
“With Didier, we talk to each other every day, we had agreed for a long time. I always said that someone could not be punished for life, recalls the president of the FFF. It’s a smart decision on Didier’s part, I’m delighted. Not to give him a chance would have been a mistake. I recall that despite everything that people said around me, I always said that he would not be suspended. It was normal that he was not called up for a while, but it would have been stupid to say that he would never play for France again. “
It was therefore Didier Deschamps who himself decided on the duration of the “punishment”. But the windows for a return were not many. Adrien Rabiot, who refused to extend his contract at PSG, had not played between December 2018 and June 2019. Then, his debut at Juventus Turin had been quite irregular. The recent rise of Rabiot, but also the succession of Blaise Matuidi who left for Miami, have finally convinced Deschamps to turn the page. Some executives of the Blues were made aware of this return before the announcement of the list.
In the bubble of the Blues, cut off from the world next week because of Covid-19, Adrien Rabiot will meet some of his friends from the Parisian training center: Ferland Mendy, Mike Maignan and Presnel Kimpembe. The midfielder with 6 selections will not spare a meeting with his coach. Noël Le Graët does not intend to formalize: “When I meet him, I will tell him that I am very happy that he is there. I don’t need to call him, there won’t be a meeting. He must be proud to come back and we are happy that he is coming back. Why complicate your life when you can do normal things? “