Speaking to RFI, Valencia midfielder and Frenchman Geoffrey Kondogbia discussed his decision to switch international allegiances from Les Bleus to the Central African Republic, after he played his first competitive game for the African nation last week.
“It is true that I have never spoken about it. What people don’t know, is that I have always wanted to play for the Central African Republic. My dream, was to play for Central Africa. This was not the case for the people that I am close to, my friends and members of my family. They did not agree. I think that because of my career and what the French national team could bring to it. I ignored my desire. I tried to play the game in terms of saying “yes, it is a plus in terms of football level.” But for me, I have always wanted to play for the Central African Republic. What “saved” me was the disappointment that people close to me held. Those who were against me joining the Central African Republic team as I was no longer being called up to the French national team. They have, in inverted commas, let me go.”
“That is my general reasoning. But I want to be clear that it had nothing to do with what I felt. I fell French and Central African. I had just always thought since I was very young that my services would be more welcomed by the Central African Republic than France. It is like in a family. When you have two brother, if one of them needs your help, you turn to him.”