Blaise Matuidi has revealed that David Beckham was one of the main reasons why he elected to leave Juventus for Inter Miami.
The 2018 World Cup winner reached an agreement to end his stay in Italy a year early after the Serie A champions lost out in the Champions League to Lyon, with the MLS outfit, who have lost all of their competitive fixtures this season, his choice of destination.
He has revealed talks have been ongoing for months, with Beckham particularly eager to link up with a man he once played with at Paris Saint-Germain.
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“The first contact was in December,” Matuidi told L’Equipe. “A relation of David called me to ask if I was interested. At the time, I told myself it was too early in my career. The Euros were to come and the Covid problems didn’t exist. For me, it was clear I’d stay at Juventus.
“They came back to me in June saying they were still very interested. David really wanted me to be the first Frenchman to wear his franchise colours.
“Things had changed. Confinement made me realise how much I had to think about my family. I already knew they were the dearest thing to me, but after being in lockdown with them for two months, the link became even stronger.
“I told myself I really needed to take advantage of my children, to think of them first, even if they enjoyed being in Italy. I looked back, retraced my career path and though: ‘What do you want to go looking for?’”
Matuidi has revealed that he has also had talks with Beckham himself.
“He told me he’s very happy with my signing and that he’ll be there to help me,” Matuidi said. “It will be an honour to play for his club. David is an exemplary role model on and off the pitch. That’s the path I want to follow.”
Meanwhile, moving to MLS does not mean the end of his France career, at least according to Matuidi.
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“I’m aware that by going to MLS, it complicates my access to the France team,” he admitted. “It made me think. I’ve been in it for 10 years, I’ve got 84 caps – and that’s not nothing.
“I don’t close the door but I’m a realist too. I know that young players will arrive and show they have the qualities to be important. But I’ve not said my last word either, I remain available.”
Meanwhile, Matuidi is backing PSG to win the Champions League. “Since Juve were eliminated, I’ve been a staunch supporter of PSG,” he said of the club with who he spent eight seasons. “I want them to go all the way, but it’s true that the Bayern that beat Barcelona is scary.”
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