Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot has written an angry open letter to France manager Didier Deschamps after not being selected for the final World Cup squad in Russia next month but instead kept as a standby. Rabiot duly decided to opt out of the standby list as he believes that he is in for a major shout into the first team.
Rabiot was left out of France's 23-man World Cup squad last week and a justification was given stating that the player has not been great for the national team, despite winning seven trophies with PSG. Steven NZonzi was selected instead, something that has not gone down with Rabiot.
Deschampds' selection has not appeased a few players, with Alexandre Lacazette also demanding that he warranted an opportunity in the squad after being left out from the main squad. The striker scored two goals in France's friendly against Germany last year but has been kept in the standby list as Deschamps went for other options up front.
Rabiot, in the open letter, said that he does not want to be viewed as a young immature, according to Goal.
I suspected the impact of my decision, but I regret to be caricatured as a young immature player unable to measure the scope of his actions.
It's my job, but football is my passion, and to climb to the highest level, I've worked again and again, and all I've got today I've earned on the pitch. And then I have a dream, like all footballers, it's playing for my country.
Wearing the blue jersey is for me an honour, a pride. To win with France, to win for France, is a mission. Since the age of 15 I have worn the colours of France. I have the culture of France. Also, I do not allow anyone to speak on my behalf about my relationship with the French team.
Since my first call, as a reserve in May 2016, I played with my club, PSG, a big European club, 88 games including 13 in the Champions League, scored seven goals and I was rewarded by seven trophies.
If I decided to withdraw from the list of alternates, it is because I consider that the choice of the coach towards me does not answer any sporting logic because for all these years the message was clear, it is the performances in a club which open the doors of the national team.
I am a competitor without qualms, but I am also a man, and I would have liked to be considered as such. My approach does not target the selected players. And I thank [Noel] Le Graet, the president of the French Football Federation, for having highlighted the exemplary nature of my selection behaviour over the past eight years.
Finally, I will assume all the consequences of my choice with the support of my family and my relatives.
France, runner-up at the European Championship two years ago, opens their World Cup campaign against Australia on June 16. They meet Peru five days later and close the group stage against Denmark on June 26.
The final 23-man World Cup squad for France, along with 11 players on standby are:
Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Alphonse Areola, Djibril Sidibé, Benjamin Pavard, Raphaël Varane, Presnel Kimpembe, Adil Rami, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Mendy, Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kanté, Corentin Tolisso, Blaise Matuidi, Steven N'Zonzi, Thomas Lemar, Kylian Mbappé, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé, Nabil Fékir, Florian Thauvin
Standby: Wissam Ben Yedder, Kingsley Coman, Benoît Costil, Mathieu Debuchy, Lucas Digne, Alexandre Lacazette, Anthony Martial, Adrien Rabiot, Mamadou Sakho, Moussa Sissoko, Kurt Zouma