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'He's made a huge mistake!' - Deschamps criticises PSG star for France snub

Adrien Rabiot has refused to take his place among France’s standbys for the World Cup and could yet be left out of further squads

Adrien Rabiot (file pic).
Adrien Rabiot (file pic).

ADRIEN RABIOT HAS made a “huge mistake” in asking to be removed from the standby list for France’s World Cup squad, according to coach Didier Deschamps.

The Paris Saint-Germain midfielder, who has six caps, was overlooked for the main 23-man selection , with Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi preferred instead.

Rabiot — who previously demonstrated a reluctance to adopt a more deep-lying role for his country — was included among Les Bleus’ group of first reserves for the tournament in Russia, but the 23-year-old made a request in writing to be de-selected.

Speaking at a media conference on Wednesday, shortly after the French Football Federation had expressed its surprise and disappointment at the move, Deschamps shed further light on the situation.

“It was not a letter sent, it was an email that arrived Monday late afternoon,” he said. “I became aware of its content. Of course, Adrien signed it.

“I called him to have a confirmation that it was he who had sent this email. He did not answer me. I got confirmation from my manager. In the process, I warned my president of the content. I also warned the president of PSG because he is a PSG player.

“I was surprised of course. I can understand the disappointment, the immense disappointment, but to take such a position … We are talking about a young player who for a while was in the French group. He excludes himself from the team.

“I dare to hope that through some decisions like this it will allow him to mature, to reflect. I am convinced that he made a huge mistake in taking such a position.

“He refuses his status as a reservist, to follow a program, and if there was a problem of being called as a substitute. It is his decision he assumes.”

France are considered among the favourites to win the World Cup and must first negotiate a group that pits them against Australia, Peru and Denmark.

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