Manchester City star Aymeric Laporte has revealed the Spanish Football Federation wanted him ‘for years’.
Laporte stunned supporters in the lead up to this summer’s Euro 2020 by switching national allegiance from France to Spain, acquiring a Spanish passport having become eligible due to not representing France competitively, and having spent sufficient time in Spain over the course of his time in Bilbao.
The centre-back has instantly become a starter under Luis Enrique, and he even managed to get his first goal for La Roja last time out as Spain progressed with a 5-0 win over Slovakia, setting up a Round of 16 tie with Croatia this evening.
Ahead of that game, Laporte has opened up on the process of switching allegiance, revealing that the Royal Spanish Football Federation actually wanted him for some time before the move was made ahead of this summer’s Euros.
“They called me from the Federación,” he told the Guardian. “The president told me about their interest. Straight after, Luis Enrique called. I took the decision. Then came my dual nationality.
“I’d been in contact with the selección española for years because they’ve always wanted me.”
Speaking about Luis Enrique’s influence, the 27-year-old added: “Luis Enrique told me my playing style is his idea of football, that if I got nationality I might be in the squad.
“We talked and I told him that obviously it’s very important for me, for my projection. This is something I always wanted. To play at the highest level, at an international tournament is significant for any player.
“I said I was interested. There’s paperwork and all that [but] we found the formula.”