“If you feel Spanish, you go with Spain. But don’t be opportunistic.”
L’Equipe and some French football legends have criticised Aymeric Laporte for switching national teams from France to Spain.
The Manchester City defender is planning to switch his allegiance ahead of this summer’s European Championship, according to reports.
L’Equipe on Laporte.
As per Spanish outlet MARCA, Spain’s national team manager Luis Enrique requested the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to inquire about the possibility of calling up Laporte to the squad.
Laporte was born in France and has represented the nation 51 times at youth level.
While the 26-year-old has been called up to the senior French squad on several occasions, he has yet to make his debut for the side.
“Laporte has succumbed to the Iberian sirens when he has never yet worn the shirt of the French ‘A’ team,” L’Equipe wrote.
L’Equipe also quoted an interview Laporte did back in December 2018, when he confirmed his choice of nationality was France.
“I have chosen France. I am French. I don’t have dual nationality. I am not going to ask for it,” Laporte said.
France legends on Laporte.
Former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Emmanuel Petit criticised the former Athletic Bilbao defender for the move, quoting his previous comments about his love of France.
“So you can choose the country you want? Do you want to? He had claimed his love for the French team and suddenly went to Spain,” Petit told RMC.
Former PSG and France winger Jerome Rothen also had his say, calling out Laporte for taking advantage of the current circumstances.
“When you sign up and feel French, you go with France. If you feel Spanish, you go with Spain. But don’t be opportunistic,” Rothen said.
Laporte on Spain move.
Speaking last year, the ex-France underage international admitted his frustration at not earning his first senior cap.
“I still miss it a little more with the national squad,” Laporte told L’Equipe in November.
“I’ve been going there for a long time now, it’s a big disappointment, especially after spending more than five years in the French youth team and having been captain for almost three years.
“But life is like that, you have to accept and work hard and strive to get back to the level and be stronger than ever.”