Lucas Hernandez has confirmed that France, not Spain, is ‘my country’, admitting he took ‘advice’ from Atletico Madrid teammate Antoine Griezmann.
Lucas was reportedly due to receive a Spanish passport so he could play for La Roja, but their chances of calling the 22-year-old up were all-but-ended by France selecting him for their most recent friendlies.
“When Mr [Deschamps] called me to ask me about my situation, I didn’t hesitate for a minute or 30 seconds. I said ‘yes’, I was ready to defend this shirt,” he said at a Press conference.
“Spain? I’m an ambitious player. I had no news from France and that makes you think about things.
“It’s been said that I will be in the World Cup squad, but that’s false. No player is certain of being in it.
“There was also talk that I’d said ‘no’ to Deschamps, and that’s wrong too. The French don’t know me like the Spanish do.
“I’m 22 years old and I have lived in Spain for 18 years. When I say that Spain has given me everything, personally and in football, it’s true.
“I studied there and it’s where I started my career as a player. When I say I speak Spanish better, that’s also true.
“When you don’t practice a language regularly, you lose a bit of your accent, but that doesn’t stop my country being France. Some of my words have been misinterpreted.
“At no time did I mean for my country to be Spain and not France. Griezmann? We’re very close and we talk a lot. He gave me some good advice and I’m very happy.
“Playing in France? I’m not looking at the future, I’m fine and I don’t plan on changing clubs right now.
“I have my friends [at Atleti], my whole life… but if a club are interested and there’s an agreement, why not?
“Although I’m from Marseille, it would be difficult to go to Paris. Anything can happen, but I’m not thinking about it right now.”