Representing your country should be one of the proudest moments in any footballer’s career.
Whenever they receive the call to play for their international team, players must get excited to compete against others nations alongside the best players their country has to offer.
However, being called-up to play for France has had the opposite effect for Jeremy Mathieu.
The Barcelona defender was named by Didier Deschamps to represent Les Blues in their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
However, instead of wanting to add to the five caps he has already earned, Mathieu decided to retire from international duty.
According to L’Equipe, after a telephone conversation with Deschamps, the 32-year-old decided that it was the right decision to step down from the France squad to allow youngsters the chance to make the senior squad.
While it’s a commendable thought process, surely he should be looking to play for his nation for a couple more times before he hangs up his boots.
"I'll be 35, to me it seems complicated,” he explained.
Mathieu may have had a decent club career representing Valencia and Barcelona for the previous seven seasons but he’s struggled to become a regular for France’s national side.
He had to pull out of their Euro 2016 squad due to injury and he realises that he’s been a bit unlucky as far as France is concerned.
"In my career, I have not had too much luck with the Blues,” he simply said.
Mathieu’s replacement is a defender seven years his junior in the form of Valencia defender Eliaquim Mangala.
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