The news about Laurent Koscielny retiring from international football has come as shocking news to most football fans. The Arsenal vice-captain has decided that the Russia 2018 world cup will be his last appearance for his national team.
Koscielny has said just why he decides he will call it quits at just 32 years old. He believes that after next year’s World Cup in Russia, in which he will be 33, he will choose to focus on his club career if he wants to play until other world class defenders who have played into their late 30s.
The French international has 49 caps for his country and his current Arsenal contract will run until 2020, which means to be able to try and stretch his Premier League (we hope) playing time he will need to retire from international duty. The current crop of young players coming through in the French national team is second to none and Koscielny has also said he wants to give players like Laporte and Umtiti the best opportunity possible to follow in his footsteps.
In a statement this week, the Arsenal defender said:
“I am 32, I still have a few years ahead of me but perhaps my final months with the French national team. I am trying to enjoy these moments to the maximum. I am closer to the end than to the beginning The new generation is starting to make a name for itself in the French national team but there are still a few older ones who are resisting it…”
With his retirement, Koscielny will now be 100% focused on Arsenal like Per Mertesacker and Petr Cech, both of whom have also retired from international duty fairly recently, perhaps highlighting our aged back line, something else the club has to fix this summer – with the possible departures of Wilshere, Sanchez and Ozil, Wiggy is going to be left with one hell of a shopping list it has to be said.