Sport

Koulibaly regrets waiting to play for France’s national team

Kalidou Koulibaly, Napoli defender and Senegal captain, has bluntly revealed that he sometimes thinks about the time he ‘wasted’ while waiting for a call-up to the French national team.

The 31-year-old, regarded as one of Europe’s top center backs, had the opportunity to play for the current world champions but chose the Lions of Teranga at the age of 24.

He however represented France in the U-20 level, appearing six times in the Fifa U20 World Cup finals in Colombia.

However, in 2015, he chose to switch allegiances, just as he was beginning to generate interest from Didier Deschamps.

According to Foot Mercato, the defender revealed to Onze Mondial that he may have squandered two years contemplating his international future.

“Those who hesitate? I put myself in the box because I am part of it too. I came late, I joined the national team of Senegal at 24 years old when I had already been asked one or two years before,” he said.

“It is true that it is a reflection to have, everyone wants to play for the French national selections. But afterwards, when you realise that you’ve wasted your time, you bite your fingers.

“Personally, I really bit my fingers. I knew Senegal could give me the chance to play internationally, and despite that, I waited two years. And two years, that’s about thirty games. I was unable to play for 30 games with my national team and I still bite my fingers today.”

Koulibaly has also had success with Senegal, when he captained the team to victory in the Africa Cup of Nations in February 2022. Senegal is also in the World Cup following an outstanding qualification campaign, thus the Lions of Teranga book a trip to Qatar at the cost of Egypt.

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