France manager Didier Deschamps confirmed Friday that defender Laurent Koscielny will miss the World Cup in Russia this summer.
The France and Arsenal star was stretched off the pitch on Thursday night after suffering an Achilles injury during Arsenal’s Europa League loss to Athletico Madrid in Spain.
The 32 year old was in observable twinge after suffering the injury just 11 minutes into the semi-final encounter, which Arsenal loss 1:0.
Koscienly had originally planned on retiring from the national duty after the World Cup, but it appears he will have to prematurely hang up his international boots.
“It’s a very big blow for the France team,” the manager said.
“Laurent was present at the World Cup in Brazil and at the Euros. Although not very expansive, he is an exemplary player, very much appreciated by the group,” France national team coach added.
Despite confirming that Koscielny suffered an Achilles injury, Arsenal is believed to be in the process of examining the knock and has yet to confirm a timeline for his return.
World Cup Squad
Deschamps, who coached Marseille to their last French title in 2010, had been scheduled to name his squad for Russia 2018 on May 15, a day ahead of the Europa League final in Lyon on May 16.
Regular France squad members ‘keeper Steve Mandanda, defender Adil Rami and attacking midfielders Dimitri Payet and Florian Thauvin play for Marseille, whilst strikers Antoine Griezmann and Kevin Gameiro and defender Lucas Hernandez play for Atletico Madrid.
Marseille set up a final meeting with Atletico after defender Rolando struck in extra time to grab a 3-2 aggregate victory over a spirited Salzburg on Thursday.
Diego Costa sent Atletico through as the Spanish club won Thursday’s second leg 1-0 at home to clinch a 2-1 aggregate victory over Arsenal.
France will play warm up games against Ireland, Italy and the USA, May 28 at the Stade de France, June 1 at Nice and June 9 at Lyon respectively.
They then tackle Australia, Peru and Denmark in the World Cup group phase.