Rabiot, decline and pardon

The French midfielder has been called up by Deschamps after his good end to the season with Juventus. He refused to go with the substitute team in 2018.


Adrien Rabiot (April 3, 1995) was aiming very high when he was a regular in the PSG engine room at just 20 years old. However, his wayward character made him a rebel, with or without a cause, he did not enter there. From promise with Les Bleus to bad boy after his refusal to go with the substitute team for the 2018 World Cup. Now, Deschamps has rewarded his great post-pandemic season finale with Juventus and has given him another chance, including him among his 23. It is up to Rabiot to take advantage of the pardon, but how did he get to this situation? L''Équipe sheds light with a chronology.

In November 2016 he was called up with the senior team for the first time and, at the first change, he accompanied Kanté and Pogba in the Didier Deschamps media line. The result (0-0 against the Ivory Coast) was not the desired one, but L'Équipe highlighted his performance: "A promising debut, asking for the ball and trying to play forward." After the initial green shoots began the first signs of rupture. In March of the following year, he received his first criticism from the press, "he walked around the field and his technical contribution was very limited", after a defeat against Spain (0-2) .

That gap with the media focus widened months later, in November 2017. As L'Équipe points out, Rabiot starts from the bench in a Bulgaria-France key to French interests, but an injury to Kanté forces him to enter the pitch at minute 34. Deschamps's men win the match (0-1), but the performance of our protagonist, who did not expect such adverse weather conditions in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, is far from what was expected. His excuses in the mixed zone did not go down well within the federation: "It was quite hard, it was very cold. Besides, I was afraid of injuring myself from playing in conditions like these" .

Decline and rebirth

So we got to the famous rudeness of May 2018. Rabiot, who had lost dominance in the blue scheme, is not among the 23 men chosen by Deschamps to contest the World Cup in Russia. However, he does appear on the reserve list, a fact that Saint-Maurice does not like and he makes it known to the coach. Through an email he refuses to be part of the reservations. "I am convinced that he made a serious mistake in making that decision," reasons Deschamps.

After this, the national team became a desert for Rabiot. Absences helped, in large part, by his controversy leaving PSG. His refusal to renew made him a perennial inhabitant of the bench until, free and at zero cost, he ended up joining Juventus last summer. With Vecchia Signora, he only started three of the first 15 Serie A matches. However, from then on, a gap was opened in Maurizio Sarri's scheme and, especially after confinement, he regained the level set by the poster of European promise years ago. Deschamps has decided to pardon him and give him another chance. We'll see if our protagonist knows how to take advantage of it.

Photos from as.com
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