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Arsenal star set to retire after 2018 World Cup in Russia

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has announced that he will retire from international football after he plays in his final World Cup for France next summer. The 32-year-old has 49 international appearances for Les Bleus, but has decided to call it a day after the tournament in Russia as he wishes to hand the torch to the pool of burgeoning young talent set to break into the national team set-up.

Speaking ahead of France's midweek friendly game against Wales and Germany, via Goal, the Gunners captain announced his impending departure from the international stage, stating:

"Yes I think (it is the right time). There is just six months to take pleasure with French national team. After that, it will be time to give my place to young players behind me. I think I have done what I have to do on this team. I will make the most of these memories, until June."

The former Tours and Lorient man joined the Gunners in 2010, which lead him to earn his first international call-up the following year. Since then, the French defender has registered 49 international appearances, and was part of the French side which finished runners-up to Portugal at Euro 2016. The Gunners man has one international goal to his name, scored against Scotland last year.

His retirement is arguably warranted, with an array of talented young French players waiting to be unleashed on the international stages.

The likes of Chelsea's who's presently on-loan at Stoke City Kurt Zouman, RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano and Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti are all vying for a centre-back spot, France are likely to be spoiled for central-defensive choice for years to come.

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