Speaking in today’s press conference at Clairefontaine, Marseille and French international goalkeeper Steve Mandanda was asked if he has ever thought of quitting the national team owing to being perennially #2 in the pecking order behind Hugo Lloris.
“We have a good relationship (with Deschamps), but that does not stop him from not picking me when I am not performing well. He was right, he made the best decision for the team. We spoke before he chose not to select me. I did not feel duped. At no point did I think about retiring from the French national team. It is a pleasure and an honour to be part of this squad, to wear this shirt. It is a source of additional motivation to perform well and to have the national team squad in the back of my mind. It did not cross my mind to stop international duties. In my head, I always had this aim of coming back. I had to do everything to come back. Give myself the means to perform well to contend for a place in the French national team. In terms of the critiques, they are part of the game these days. We have to know to accept them, like we accept praise.”
Mandanda will start for France in crucial EURO 2020 qualifiers over the next 10 days against Albania and Moldova.