Antoine Griezmann, Atletico Madrid, Clubs, France, Lucas Hernández, Story


Lucas Hernandez trains with France ahead of the games against Colombia and Russia.

Antoine Griezmann has revealed that he helped convince Atletico Madrid teammate Lucas Hernandez to play for France.

Hernandez was born in France but moved to Spain at the age of four and has spent his entire club career there.

In a recent TVE interview, the full-back said: “I feel Spanish — Spain has given me everything. If I’m called up, I’ll go,” fuelling speculation that he would represent the 2010 World Cup winners.

However, Hernandez does not have Spanish citizenship and has represented France up to under-21 level.

He has been called up to the senior squad for the friendlies against Colombia and Russia and L’Equipe quoted striker Griezmann as saying: “I put some pressure on him for a few days.

“In fact, in Spain, the coach had called him up and Lucas was tempted. In France, he’d played for the U21s, but what he wanted was the senior side.

“He’s worked hard, he’s pushed Filipe Luis on the left side, he’s made an effort. He had the call from the coach, and he didn’t hesitate.”

after speaking to Deschamps, and L’Equipe quoted a source close to him as saying: “Lucas replied to Deschamps: ‘The fact you called me changes everything.’

“Deschamps didn’t ask for an immediate answer. He just told him to think about it, to talk it over with his family. They were going to call each other on the following Tuesday, and that’s when he wanted a clear answer.”

Hernandez was contacted personally by France coach Didier Deschamps before making his decision and L’Equipe quoted a source close to the player as saying: “Lucas replied to Deschamps: ‘The fact you called me changes everything.’

“Deschamps didn’t ask for an immediate answer. He just told him to think about it, to talk it over with his family. They were going to call each other on the following Tuesday, and that’s when he wanted a clear answer.”

Following the player’s France call-up, El Pais reported that FIFA rules had meant a switch to Spain would have been impossible.

AS reported that a domestic abuse incident in early 2017 meant he was unable to secure a Spanish passport.

And Spain coach Julen Lopetegui told Cope radio: “It was never possible to pick Lucas Hernandez. We could not even weigh up whether to do it.”Inf

Information from ESPN FC’s Spain correspondent Dermot Corrigan was used in this report.

Ian is ESPN’s French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman



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