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France, Germany are World Cup favourites

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 By PA Sport

Laurent Koscielny to retire from France duty after World Cup

Laurent Koscielny announced he will retire from international football after the World Cup in Russia next year.

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny plans to retire from international duty with France after the 2018 World Cup.

The 32-year-old centre-back has featured in the last three major tournaments for Les Bleus.

He told a news conference: "There is an end to everything.

"After the World Cup, I will be almost 33 years old, it will be the right time to make room for the youngsters pushing behind.

"I have six months left in the French team to blossom and take as many memories, as my wife would say."

Koscielny has 49 caps, the first coming against the United States in November 2011.

Laurent Koscielny is set to call time on his France career next summer.

While Koscielny's international career is drawing to a close, Steven N'Zonzi's appears to be just starting at the age of 28.

The Sevilla midfielder won the last of his six under-21 caps for France in 2010, and despite having been one of the La Liga club's most impressive performers since joining from Stoke in 2015, he has not received a senior call-up until now.

"Everyone has their career path," N'Zonzi, who spent six years in England, first with Blackburn Rovers before a three-year stint at Stoke, told reporters at France's training base at Clairefontaine.

"I didn't find the time long. I was able to play, improve with my club, and I wasn't impatient given there was strong competition for places in my position. There are so many good players in midfield that I couldn't be frustrated."

ESPN FC's France correspondent Ian Holyman contributed to this report.


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