Ruled out of the World Cup with a ruptured Achilles tendon, Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has written a letter of encouragement to the France squad, national coach Didier Deschamps said on Wednesday.
The 32-year-old, who has 50 France caps, was stretchered out of Arsenal’s Europa League semifinal defeat to Atletico Madrid two weeks ago.
“He’s a man on whom you can count and I told him that if he wants to he’s more than welcome to pay us a visit,” said Deschamps.
“It was a good idea and I’ve shown the letter to the players. There’s everything in there from a man who knows what an international tournament calls for,” said Deschamps.
The French Football Federation have made what Koscielny said in the letter public.
“The main thing is to get along with each other, all together, players and staff,” he wrote.
“Everyone has to fight and go the extra yard for his teammates, team spirit is key.”
“The whole nation is behind you and will cheer you on. This support, energy, pride and passion will carry you just as it did in Euro 2016,” said Koscielny, who was part of the France side that lost the final to Portugal.
“This year, I’ll be on my sofa, watching on the TV and I’ll be your No.1 fan,” promised the player.
The news cast an even poorer light on the 23-year-old Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who refused to be a World Cup standby player as the France squad assembled at their Clairefontaine training centre.