Evra: I wish I represented Senegal over France

Steve Mandanda, Patrice Evra, and Paul Pogba
Steve Mandanda, Patrice Evra, and Paul Pogba

An 81-capped former France national team star has revealed that he regrets choosing to represent France instead of Senegal.

In 2022, there have been a number of European-born players who have switched their allegiances and opted to wear the colours of an African nation.

England-born duo Tariq Lamptey of Brighton and Hove Albion as well Atalanta winger Ademola Lookman, decided to represent Ghana and Nigeria, respectively, as both players have parents who hail from the the two West African nations.

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There have also been numerous instances of players who were born in Africa but chose European countries at international level, including Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira who was born in Senegal, and more recently 2018 FIFA World Cup winner Samuel Umtiti, who was birthed in Cameroon.

While Umtiti is proud to be a world champion with France, Manchester United legend Patrice Evra has expressed that he regrets choosing Les Bleus over the Lions of Teranga.

"If I could go back in time, I will choose to represent the country of my birth, Senegal, instead of France," he said in a chat with Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo, according to Les Parisiens.

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"I was born in Dakar but grew up in France. One of the painful lessons I learnt with this choice is when you play good and win, you are celebrated as a French; when the team lose, you are singled out as Senegalese.

"We need to let this young generation know that they can still succeed playing for their original countries."

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