In light of his switch from France to Spain, Aymeric Laporte has revealed that Spain head coach Luis Enrique had called him up and asked him if he was interested in playing for Furia Roja. The Manchester City defender made the shock switch in international allegiances just before Euro 2020.
Despite playing across every youth level for France, the plethora of defenders that Didier Deschamps hand at his disposal saw Aymeric Laporte struggle to get a call-up. That prompted a shock change of international allegiance for the defender with him switching from Les Blues’ to Spain just before the start of Euro 2020. However, that move has proved to be a masterstroke for the Manchester City defender with him earning two caps for the Furia Roja already.
That includes an appearance at the Euro 2020 in Spain’s opening game and many expect Laporte to keep his place for the foreseeable future in the team. However, in light of criticism and controversy surrounding the move, Laporte admitted that Luis Enrique called him up and asked if he was interested in representing Spain. The defender also added that he was never going to please everyone but did what he thought was the right thing for his career.
“It is a long story from a long time ago. He called me and told me that he was interested in having me, and wanted to know if I was interested in competing in a European Championship. He told me that it was very feasible that I could play for Spain, and I was delighted,” Laporte told Marca.
“It keeps bothering you. You are never going to please everyone. It is a delicate subject, but in the end I have to do what I believe is the right thing. I have always tried to keep the utmost respect for everyone and to play.
“Yes, I do feel comfortable and also very happy. I am in a stage of my life in which I am very happy and I am taking advantage of it. Here I am like a child living his dream. I was looking forward to being here and I’m freaking out every second.”
The decision to play for Spain only came about because of his ancestors hailing from the Basque region and it was why he could play for Athletic Bilbao. However, with Laporte born in France, the defender asserted that the decision had nothing to do with France and while his family were shocked, they supported his decision to make the switch.
“As it was a somewhat delicate subject, I discussed it with my family and told them what my intention was and they understood. They, in a way, saw it very clearly. What Spain has given me, not only now and throughout my career, has nothing to do with France.
“Most of them knew about my situation. Not because of playing for Spain, but because they didn’t count on me in France, only partially. I had been holding out for a long time, waiting for something. Yes, they were surprised because I did not speak about this, but happy because they know what I wanted.”