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Veteran goalkeeper Mandanda calls time on France career

Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, a World Cup winner with France in 2018, announced his retirement from international football at the age of 37 on Saturday. 

“Today, the France team ends here for me,” Rennes guardian Mandanda said at a press conference ahead of Sunday’s game at home to Paris Saint-Germain.

The Kinshasa-born Mandanda made his France debut in 2008 and won 35 caps for Les Bleus. He went to three World Cups and was part of the squad in Qatar where France finished as runners-up to Argentina.   

“I experienced some great moments with France, it’s been a privilege and joy for me to go through all these moments. But at 37 years old I think it’s the right time” to walk away, he said.

Mandanda’s retirement comes the same week as that of Hugo Lloris, France’s first-choice keeper and most-capped player who announced Monday he was ending his international career.

“It allows us to come full circle with Hugo. We started together and we finish together. I didn’t have the same number of appearances as him but I’ve experienced a lot of things with him,” said Mandanda.

Mandanda has spent the majority of his career with Marseille, playing a club-record 613 times for them and winning the Ligue 1 title in 2010, but joined Rennes in July on a two-year deal.

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