Aymeric Laporte is now in the Spanish squad for Euro 2020, although, he has been playing for France at the youth level.
was born inFrance
and has played for them through the youth levels, including making 19 appearances for their Under-21s, however, he was never handed a senior cap by the world champions.
Therefore, he decided to representSpain
as he is eligible through his Basque heritage.
The Manchester City central defender said that national team manager Luis Enrique got in touch with him directly in order to change nations and he jumped at the opportunity.
"It is a long story from a long time ago. He called me and told me that he was interested in having me, and wanted to know if I was interested in competing in a European Championship. He told me that it was very feasible that I could play for Spain, and I was delighted,”
Although he expected backlash, he was also certain that his choice to play for Spain would give him the best chance of reaching a major tournament which was something he did as he started their 0-0 draw against Sweden for his new country in Euro 2020.
"It keeps bothering you. You are never going to please everyone. It is a delicate subject, but in the end, I have to do what I believe is the right thing. I have always tried to keep the utmost respect for everyone and to play.
"Yes, I do feel comfortable and also very happy. I am in a stage of my life in which I am very happy and I am taking advantage of it. Here I am like a child living his dream. I was looking forward to being here and I'm freaking out every second."
His family also has given him a blessing to play for Spain thanks to his ancestors hailing from the Basque region.
He also revealed that France FA were surprised when they found out about his decision.
"As it was a somewhat delicate subject, I discussed it with my family and told them what my intention was and they understood. They, in a way, saw it very clearly. What Spain has given me, not only now and throughout my career, has nothing to do with France.
"Most of them knew about my situation. Not because of playing for Spain, but because they didn't count on me in France, only partially. I had been holding out for a long time, waiting for something. Yes, they were surprised because I did not speak about this, but happy because they know what I wanted."