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Laurent Koscielny confirms France exit: 'World Cup victory did a lot more psychological damage than my injury'

After leading France to World Cup glory in Russia, Didier Deschamps has been named the Best FIFA Men's Coach for 2018.

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has confirmed his retirement from international football, and criticised France coach Didier Deschamps for not offering more support during his long injury layoff.

Koscielny had said last year that he would retire from internationals after the World Cup, but missed France's triumph in Russia after rupturing his Achilles tendon toward the end of last season.

He told Canal Plus that he has no intention to go back on his decision retire.

"I think that I have given everything I can for France. My injury does not change my decision. For Les Bleus it is finished," he said.

Koscielny was expected to be a starter for France in Russia and said the experience of having to watch from the sidelines as the team won the World Cup has been the most painful part of his ordeal.

"France's World Cup victory did me a lot more psychological damage than my injury did me," he said.

Koscielny also said he was disappointed with Deschamps for not staying in touch more during his rehabilitation period.

"He called me once for my birthday in September. Otherwise, no [contact]," Koscielny said. "Lots of people disappointed me. Not only the coach.

"It feels like a hit on the back of the head. When you are in good form, you have lots of friends. When you are injured ... after a certain period of time, you are forgotten about."

Koscielny was made club captain by Arsenal coach Unai Emery despite his long-term absence, and has been working toward his return at the Gunners' training ground in London Colney. He is expected to be back in full training in November.


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