Didier Deschamps insists he does not regret including Samir Nasri in his World Cup plans, despite the absence of Franck Ribery.
Nasri enjoyed a fine campaign for Manchester City as Manuel Pellegrini’s side won a second league title in three seasons, scoring seven goals and assisting in nine more as he featured in all but four of their Premier League matches. He was also involved in their League Cup programme, which ended with more silverware.
Despite this, the former Arsenal man was a surprise absentee when France named their 23-man squad for Brazil. It is widely believed that this decision was based largely on his performances for the national side in their two-legged qualification playoff win against Ukraine, when the 26-year-old failed to impress.
Even so, when Bayern Munich playmaker Ribery was ruled out of the tournament after picking up a back injury last week, it opened up the possibility of Nasri being called in from the cold. However, Deschamps instead opted for Lyon’s Clement Grenier, who has just five caps compared to the City man’s 41.
Deschamps, though, insists he has no regrets over his decision to snub Nasri. The France coach, he captained Le Bleus to World Cup glory in their homeland back in 1998, has given his reasons for ignoring the Etihad Stadium favourite, claiming the player we see at club level is not the same on the international stage.
“I watched his matches. He has a level of performance for his club and another in the French team,” Deschamps told L’Equipe. “Like any national team coach, I have important choices to make. Sporting criteria are important, but they are not everything. I must not have any regrets. I have made my decision and we move on.”