Saturday, April 21, 2018

I am French before everything – Matuidi refuses to discuss United

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 8 Jul 2016


France midfielder Blaise Matuidi refused to discuss reports linking him with a move to Manchester United as the host nation get ready for Sunday’s final at Euro 2016.

Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Matuidi has been a mainstay of Didier Deschamps’ midfield during the competition and helped Les Bleus to a 2-0 win over world champions Germany in Marseille with a typically committed display.

Before the match, there was increased speculation that new United boss Jose Mourinho is keen to add Matuidi to an impressive haul of close season signings that already includes Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Asked whether it was a compliment to be in Mourinho’s thoughts, Matuidi refused to further fan the flames during a media briefing at France’s Clairefontaine training base.

“I am French before everything. It is not the time for that question. I am 100 per cent for the Euro and concentrating on it,” he said. 

“I am living in an exceptional moment that perhaps we will not live again in our lives. I am living it very proudly.

“I am still under contract with PSG and it stops there.”

Matuidi insists he will try to retain an air of normality within his pre-match preparations for the showpiece match against Portugal at the Stade de France, but 29-year-old concedes there are already a few nerves.

“I’ve never known any time like this before, the final of the Euro,” he said. “For other matches [preparation] doesn’t change. It’s always the same thing.

“In between the workouts, the meals and the naps, its in the head. I try to have as little stress as possible. 

“There is a knot in my stomach. It’s like that but once we arrive at the stadium we forget all of that and we say that we have to play in a fighting way to obtain the result that we want.”

He added: “We are going to be ready because Sunday is going to be the match of our lives. We are going to give everything.”


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