Theo Hernandez reveals his injured brother Lucas asked France to ‘win the World Cup’ for him, as the Milan left-back has surged from benchwarmer to key player.
Despite his excellent performances in Serie A and the Champions League over the last few seasons, Theo Hernandez has been relatively ignored by Bleus boss Didier Deschamps.
He had only seven senior caps for his country and was initially benched at the tournament in Qatar, but called into action after his older brother Lucas sustained a serious knee injury that has ruled him out for the whole competition.
“It was really bad news, it’s not easy to deal with such a long-term injury,” Theo said in a press conference this afternoon.
“I speak to Lucas every day, he tells me we need to win the World Cup for him.”
Theo’s introduction in place of Lucas was considered the turning point in France’s World Cup campaign, especially as he provided an assist both against Australia and Denmark to seal their place in the Round of 16.
“We are very different players, he is more defensive, whereas I attack a lot more. I don’t see myself in any other future role, I love playing as a left-back.”
It was pointed out to him that his nickname in China is ‘SuperCar’ because of his speed.
“I hope it’s a Ferrari,” smiled the 25-year-old.
“Kylian Mbappé is really quick, but in the squad we’ve got Ousmane Dembele, Kingsley Coman and more, so it’s tough to say who is faster.
“I am very proud to be called up and want to play the next game too, although the choice is naturally down to the coach. It’s a real pleasure to play with Mbappé and Adrien Rabiot, we get along well.”
France’s match against Tunisia is irrelevant, as they have already qualified for the knockout stages of the World Cup, but North African teams have been doing well so far, including Morocco’s 2-0 victory over Belgium.
“I wish Ismael Bennacer had been here so I could play against him, but he’s on vacation,” added Theo Hernandez of his Milan teammate from Algeria.