We may not appreciate international breaks all that much, especially when players come back from them extra tired and extra injured, but for the players themselves, there’s often no higher honor than being called upon to represent your motherland. Rare (and controversial) is the player who willingly turns such an opportunity down — Drinkwater is not one of these cases, despite what blowhard pundits would try to have you believe — and in a World Cup year, these games take on even greater importance.
As such, it’s easy to understand Tiemoué Bakayoko’s disappointment at not getting called upon this month, especially as he’s grown into a key role at Chelsea already this season. Although he might want to remember that he’s not quite fully fit and that he’s been playing through pain...
"I think [Adrien] Rabiot, Kante, [Blaise] Matuidi, Tolisso aren't better than me. I respect the coach's choices and I also respect the players selected. They're talented, they're friends. I'm proud they've been called up, I'd like to be with them, but I don't think I'm any less than them.
"I'm disappointed. I believe in this World Cup [next summer], it remains a goal. I'm playing for a big club, I think that can work in my favour.”
-Tiemoué Bakayoko; source: ESPN
This is from a taped segment Bakayoko did for Canal+ in France, so the timing, though obviously recent, isn’t exactly clear. But the message is.
Is he better than the four he listed and Steven N’Zonzi, who was also picked but was left off of Bakayoko’s list? Maybe, maybe not. Of course, that’s not what Bakayoko says; he just says they’re not better than him!
Basically, he just wants to play and go to the World Cup, which, if he keeps up his performances for Chelsea (the good ones, not the not so good ones), then his spot on the plane should be assured alongside Kanté & Co.
... #Lequipe #cfc #canalfootballclub @CanalFootClub pic.twitter.com/aVO8AWPqE0— T.Bakayoko14 (@TimoeB08) November 13, 2017