May 14, 2014, 11:03 PM EDT
After being left out of the second straight France World Cup squad, Samir Nasri is considering international retirement.
Nasri was a shock leave-behind by Les Blues coach Didier Deschamps, who left the Manchester City winger out of his 23-man squad and his list of seven replacements.
The controversial 26-year-old, who enjoyed a rejuvenated season under new manager Manuel Pellegrini this year, played a big role in Manchester City’s success scoring 12 goals and collecting 11 assists in all competitions, including big strikes in the Capital One Cup final and last Sunday’s Premier League finale.
Perhaps even more notable was Nasri’s attitude adjustment, a sign of maturity under Pellegrini that did not exist under previous club or national team managers. Nasri, himself, was conscious of the adjustment, which led to his disappointment at being dropped.
“It’s a little bit hard to accept. I need to take some time now to think about the national team because it’s been twice now that they take away a World Cup from me.
“You can go around and ask any player if they’re happy to be on the bench, nobody’s going to say yes. I need to think a little bit during the holiday, what will be my future in the national team, because missing two World Cups is really hard for a player.”
Yet, despite his well-chronicled reaction to the news over Twitter, Nasri now admits he had a feeling he’d be left out.
“I must confess, I knew before. Sometimes you have the feeling, when you call to speak to the manager and he doesn’t want to speak to you, you know you’re not going to go to the World Cup.
“It was a shock but I was prepared mentally. I’m okay. I respect his choice. He wanted to not pick me … good on him. I wish good luck to the French national team.”
From Pellegrini’s viewpoint, Deschamps’ decision to leave out Nasri was wrong but one that, nevertheless, he’s afforded to make as manager. “I was talking with all of the players, with Samir of course, it’s not good news for him,” Pellegrini said at a press conference in Abu Dhabi. “He’s a very good player and deserves to be in the national squad but all teams have managers and it’s up to them to decide.”
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