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Dimitri Payet: “I have come a long way.”

Speaking to L’Équipe following Didier Deschamps’s EURO 2016 squad announcement, West Ham United’s attacking midfielder Dimitri Payet admitted that he was emotional.

How did you feel when you saw the list?

I looked at the list with my family at my house and I have to say that I was a bit stressed because my name appeared the last time. I am happy and proud because this validates my season and my performances for West Ham. I have an invitation to EURO 2016 and that is the best.

What are you hoping from this competition?

It is not enough just to be invited, we will have to give our maximum. We are competing in the Euros on home soil, there will be incredible expectation from the public and the media. We will need to be ready for the aim that we set ourselves, and to go all the way.

Didier Deschamps, the manager, called you up seeming out of nowhere last March. Do you feel like you’re situation was a miracle?

I have come from a long way. It was kind of the opposite for the 2014 World Cup, where I was often called up except when it came to the final squad, the one that counts. I never really doubted myself. I worked. I knew that I would need to be very good with my club in order to have another shot of being called up by the French national team.

My performances in March against the Netherlands and Russia also played a part, obviously. There was expectation on me, maybe more than for the others. And everything went well. We have seen the Dimitri from his club for his national team, something that had not happened until then.


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