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Spain trying to tie up France Under-21 star in time for 2018 World Cup

Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez will commit his international future to Spain despite playing for France's Under-21 side

With the World Cup now firmly on the horizon it’s time for footballers to locate their passports.

For Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez that could prove slightly problematic.

The 21-year-old holds a French passport but has swapped his international allegiance to Spain, according to Marca.


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Hernandez was born in Marseille, where his dad was playing, and has made nine appearances for France Under-21s.

Having joined Atletico’s academy at the age of 11 he’s eligible to play for Spain, with Julen Lopetegui reportedly keen to take him to Russia.

His brother Theo, who plays for Real Madrid, could also make a similar decision, having represented France up to Under-20 level.

Just Theo

Getty - Contributor
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Just Theo

Whereas Cesc Fabregas and Cesar Azpilicueta can’t get into Lopetegui’s squad at the moment the centre of Spain’s defence isn’t as stacked.

Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos are undisputed starters but third-choice Nacho is often a substitute at Real and Marc Bartra is part of a Borussia Dortmund side without a league win since September.

Hernandez has started eight of Atletico’s 14 league games this season but faces a battle with Stefan Savic and Jose Gimenez to partner Diego Godin.

Making friends with his future international team-mates

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Making friends with his future international team-mates

Spain have been drawn in Group B alongside Portugal, Morocco and Iran.

Ramos and co will need to improve on their showing at the 2014 World Cup in which they failed to make it out of the group after losing to Holland and Chile.

But if Hernandez needs any advice about jumping ship he only needs to ask Diego Costa, who chose Spain over Brazil and then proceeded to be booed every time he touched a ball at the World Cup.

That’ll calm them down

Getty Images - Getty
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That’ll calm them down