Laurent Koscielny has retired from international football and detailed how France’s World Cup success had more of a negative impact on him than the injury that ruled him out of contention.
Arsenal defender Koscielny was unavailable for selection for the competition in Russia after tearing his Achilles in the Europa League semi-final second leg against Atletico Madrid last May.
The 33-year-old, who made 51 appearances for Les Bleus, wrote a letter of support for each member of Didier Deschamps’ World Cup squad.
However, a tearful Koscielny explained how part of him wanted France to fail in his absence.
“I think I gave all I could to the France team. France have a beautiful generation with great players – Les Bleus are finished for me,” he said in an interview with Canal+.
“I will always be a supporter of France because it remains a team that represents our country, but I will not wear the blue jersey.
“I wanted France to progress [at the World Cup] and at the same time I wanted them to lose. It’s selfish, but it’s life. Some people will say, ‘What do you mean, he wanted France to lose?’ But that was my feeling at that moment.
“I think France’s victory did me more psychological damage than my injury.”
Koscielny was frustrated by a lack of communication from those in the France set-up and was particularly “disappointed” by Deschamps.
“He sent me a text for my birthday in September, otherwise I did not have contact with him,” said the centre-back.
He added: “Many people I thought were close to me disappointed me. There are many other people, not just the coach. There are even other coaches.
“It feels like being hit around the back of the head.”
A return to training is pencilled in for November, and Koscielny hopes to be able to fight to regain his place at Arsenal, where he is contracted until 2020.
“I want to continue at Arsenal. I do not know what level I’m going to be at. I haven’t resumed training, but I want to fight,” he said.