France international Monaco centre-back Axel Disasi (25) gave a wide-ranging interview to Goal France, during which he revealed his surprise at his France World Cup call-up.
The 25-year-old has recalled how Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps broke the news to him whilst he was preparing to make alternative plans for the international break. “It was on a Monday morning. I was preparing my things for the holidays,” said Disasi.
Disasi reported back to La Turbie, AS Monaco’s training centre, to pick up a smartwatch which included his training schedule to follow during the winter break. “I was on my way home to get my family and my luggage to go to the airport when I received a call from Didier Deschamps.” The national team manager told him he’d replace the injured Presnel Kimpembe in the France squad. “I pulled over to the side of the road to continue the call. The coach told me I needed to be at Clairefontaine today. On the spot, I was so happy and proud but I needed to arrange my departure very quickly.”
Disasi says his elation completely evaporated the moment he sat foot on Clairefontaine’s pitches. “It was great to be here but I was not called up to make up the numbers. I had to show the manager he was right to pick me.” Disasi went on to play more minutes than he might have thought when he became Jules Koundé’s understudy at right-back, after Benjamin Pavard’s erratic display against Australia. Disasi got his first cap in the group stage’s dead rubber against Tunisia. “The coach said he trusted me to hold my own because he knew it’s not my favourite position. I took it as a great sign of confidence. My very first game for France occurred in a World Cup. It’s a beautiful memory I’ll never forget.“
GFFN | Bastien Cheval