Friday Dec 04, 2020. 12:00
France-born Malian midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure has revealed why he snubbed an opportunity to play for the Eagles.
The central midfielder was born in Meulan-en-Yvelines, France to Malian parents and he has played for the European country’s youth national teams.
However, Doucoure is yet to receive a call-up to France’s senior national team and in September 2020, he was called up by Mali for friendly matches against Ghana on 9 October and Iran on 13 October in Turkey.
The 27-year-old, who is on the books of English Premier League side Everton, rejected the call-up due to his desire to play for France under Didier Deschamps.
“Yes, I saw that they had placed me in their list, but I had already told them that today, the France team was my goal and that I was not ready to come to Mali. This is not the right time to represent Mali,” Doucoure said on Afrik Foot.
“People will say: ‘He is waiting for the France team’. It’s not just that. At the time, it was not the right time. I was young and the African selections are different from the European selections.”
The former Watford FC player is facing stiff competition from the likes of Paul Pogba, Moussa Sissoko, N’Golo Kante and Corentin Tolisso, who are regulars in the France squad.
“My goal has always been the French team, I was born in France, I have my ties in France. I also have ties to Mali, in my parents’ country, which is why I help a lot whenever I can,” he added.
“I can understand the disappointment of the Malians, but it should not be taken personally. You have to look at the whole thing, the Mali team has very good players.
“It is my country of origin that I continue to follow. I even have friends in this selection.”