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Laurens: France's "Next XI"

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 By Mark Rodden

Didier Deschamps 'missed an episode' over Koulibaly France call-up

Kalidou Koulibaly (left) committed to playing for Senegal last September.

Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly joked that France manager Didier Deschamps must have "missed an episode" after he mistakenly spoke about the possibility of calling up the Senegal international.

Deschamps made the slip on French TV channel Canal + last Sunday when he mentioned Koulibaly, 24, as a potential option for his squad ahead of Euro 2016.

The France-born defender played underage football for France but, having never received a call-up to the senior squad, committed to playing for Senegal last September.

He told RMC: "I was watching Canal Football Club. But I was with friends, and I was watching it without really paying attention.

"At one point I saw that Deschamps was talking about me, and I was very surprised.

"Friends sent me messages immediately. I said to myself that he must have missed an episode. But I'm not annoyed with him at all.

"I heard that they [France staff] came to watch the Napoli-Empoli match [in January]. But I thought it was to see [Vincent] Laurini, the Empoli right-back who's also French... I don't know if it was really for me."

Koulibaly said he did not regret his choice to play for Senegal but added that he had moved to Italy in 2014 with the thought of earning a call-up in mind.

And he said he would have had a big decision to make if both countries had contacted him at the same time.

"I waited on the French team for a long time," he said. "I knew that by arriving in Naples, there was maybe an opening to be made.

"I waited, my turn didn't come and at the start of the season I decided to go with Senegal."

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