Matteo Guendouzi Reveals How He Reacted to Shock Call-Up to Senior France Squad


​Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi has admitted he was stunned when he learned he had been called up to the French national team for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers. The 20-year-old, who has impressed for the Gunners this season, was initially expected to be part of the Under-21 squad during the international break, but ended up with the senior side after an injury to Manchester United’s Paul Pogba. Speaking after learning the news (via ​Goal), Guendouzi confessed that he almost missed the call as he was asleep, because he was simply not expecting anything at all. He said: “I was having an afternoon nap, someone knocked at my door, but I didn’t hear it, because I was asleep. Then the coach [Sylvain Ripoll] rang me, he said ‘it was me who knocked’, so I went to see him directly. “He said: ‘We need to speak, I really like you, but you need to go.’ I was confused, I was like, where? He said: ‘The A team.’ “In my head I was like wow, I didn’t believe it initially because 10 minutes earlier I was sleeping. I thought I was still in a dream. Then the coach spoke to me some more, explained the situation that I was with the senior team and it’s a dream. “Thankfully I took a shower after, so that it could properly sink in. I think the coach can describe my reaction better than I can, but my eyes popped out of my head.” “It is a big surprise for me today. This is a dream of mine since I was a kid. This is extraordinary, I think that any French player would want to be in this team. It is ginormous. There aren’t enough words to describe how it feels.” The 20-year-old has started all four of ​Arsenal’s ​Premier League games this season, even showcasing his creativity with a vital assist for ​Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equaliser in the 2-2 draw with ​Tottenham Hotspur. He has undoubtedly been one of the Gunners’ standout performers this season, and he will now get the opportunity to prove himself with the French national team against Albania and Andorra.