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Lucas Hernández called up by France, delivers blow to Lopetegui

SPAIN

Lucas Hernández called up by France, delivers blow to Lopetegui

Lucas Hernández, en las categorías inferiores de Francia.

French-born Atlético Madrid defender Lucas Hernández has been called up by Didier Deschamps, despite Julen Lopetegui's attempt to woo him.

Atlético Madrid defender Lucas Hernández has been called up to the France squad for friendly matches against Colombia and Russia.

Disappointment for Lopetegui 

This is the first time that Lucas - who was born in Marseille but grew up in Spain - has been called up by the senior national team, but he has represented France at youth level. 

The news comes as a blow for Spain coach Julen Lopetegui, who had hoped to tempt Lucas in to representing La Roja. Indeed, the 22-year-old dropped hints that he would favour Spain over France. "Spain has given me everything and if my Spanish nationality is close to being finalised I'd be delighted," he said at the start of March, "I consider myself another Spaniard. I speak Spanish better than French." 

"I have spoken with Deschamps and he already knows what I think," said Lucas in January. 

Lucas in action for Atlético against Celta.

Deschamps denies skulduggery

Deschamps denied that he had called up Lucas to avoid him declaring his allegiance to Spain. 

"I would never call up a player to stop them playing for another country. He's really happy to come and play with us."

France squad 

Goalkeepers: Areola, Lloris, Mandanda.

Defenders: Digne, Lucas Hernández, Kimpembe, Koscielny, Pavard, Sidibe, Umtiti, Varane.

Midfielders: Kante, Lemar, Matuidi, Pogba, Rabiot, Tolisso.

Strikers: Ben Yedder, Dembélé, Giroud, Griezmann, Martial, Mbappé, Thauvin.

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