Wednesday, June 20, 2018

´Put me in goal!´ – France defender Pavard desperate for World Cup call-up

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 13 Mar 2018

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France defender Benjamin Pavard will stretch his versatility to goalkeeping if that is what it takes to win World Cup selection from coach Didier Deschamps.

Pavard, 21, earned his first two international caps in November as a surprise pick for friendlies against Wales and Germany.

The Stuttgart mainstay faces plenty of competition to keep his spot, with the likes of Raphael Varane, Samuel Umtiti, Laurent Koscielny and the uncapped Aymeric Laporte among those jostling for positions.

But Pavard, who has experience in a number of defensive and midfield roles, believes he can be a valuable addition.

“I am ready to be a goalkeeper if required,” Pavard told France Football.

“Even as a substitute, it suits me. Can you imagine playing at a World Cup? What else is there for a footballer? Not much.

“Recently, [Stuttgart team-mate] Mario Gomez called me Lilian Thuram. A physio even told me that I made him think of Franz Beckenbauer.

“Many players are able to evolve at different positions. Thuram did it. [Sergio] Ramos started at right-back.

“Even as a holding midfielder, I like it. This season, I played in front of the defence against Augsburg and I ran 12 kilometres during the match.”

France are due to meet Colombia and World Cup hosts Russia in a pair of friendlies later this month.

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