French footballer tells of ‘relief’ in Euro 2024 camp at election result

Midfielder Adrien Rabiot has admitted there was “relief” within the France camp at Euro 2024 when Sunday’s election results were announced back at home.

Some of Rabiot’s team-mates, among them captain Kylian Mbappe, last month urged voters to reject the far right in the nation’s parliamentary elections and although their calls appeared to go unheeded in the first ballot, they got their wish in Sunday’s second round as a leftist coalition prevailed.

Asked for the squad’s reaction during a press conference on Monday afternoon ahead of Tuesday’s semi-final clash with Spain in Munich, Rabiot said: “We didn’t watch together, no, because we got back from our training session, we had dinner at 8.15pm and then everyone went back to their rooms.

France’s Adrien Rabiot at Euro 2024
France’s Adrien Rabiot was asked for the squad’s reaction to the French elections during a press conference (Adam Davy/PA)

“We obviously were concerned about the results of this election. We have other things playing on our minds as well, but this isn’t something that was mentioned.

“You saw that some of the players actually were active on social media. We haven’t spoken about this collectively all together, but I think that a lot of people felt relief after the results yesterday.”

However, Rabiot diplomatically preferred to concentrate on football as President Emmanuel Macron attempts to form a working alliance to run the National Assembly.

Rabiot said: “I’ve always said that sports and politics don’t always go well together. As I mentioned, we’ve got a semi-final and I think that we needed to put politics to one side.

“We told the French people that they needed to go and vote because democracy was what was going to make the decision.

“I saw that there were lots of people who went to vote – the highest voting – and we need to leave the analysis to those who maybe are good at that.

“I’m a footballer. Is it a good thing? Is it a bad thing? I don’t know. We’ll see what the future holds.”