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Koscielny to call time on French career after 2018 World Cup

Laurent Koscielny

Bengaluru, November 7: French defender Laurent Koscielny will call time on his international career after the 2018 World Cup.

Since making his debut in 2011, the 32-year-old was capped 49 times for France. The Arsenal centre-back played in the 2014 World Cup and two Euro Cups including the 2016 edition when the hosts finished runners-up.

"I'm starting to get a bit old at 32. With Sam (Umtiti of Barcelona) and the others in their twenties and on the lookout, the time has come," said Koscielny at a press conference at the French team headquarters.

"It's an important decision. I've done my bit for France, but I've six months left to make the most of it and to make sure I leave with good memories," he said.

In defence, France coach Didier Deschamps can usually count on Real Madrid's Raphael Varane, 24, and the 23-year-old Umtiti, who made his debut at Euro 2016, while Paris Saint-Germain's Presnel Kimpembe, 22, leads a host of other youthful contenders for places in the back line.

"There are five or six of us oldies hanging on, who have different tastes in music to the young ones, we're not exactly old ourselves," added Koscielny.

France face Wales in Paris on Friday and travel to Cologne to play world champions Germany on November 14 as part of their build up to next year's finals in Russia.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 16:35 [IST]
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