Aymeric Laporte could play for Spain at Euro 2020 after FIFA approved his switch from France national team.
FIFA confirmed on Friday that Manchester City centre-back Aymeric Laporte has officially switched his international allegiance from France to Spain. This will make him available to represent the latter at the Euro 2020 competition.
The Spanish government announced earlier this week that they had granted the 26-year-old citizenship. FIFA approved the switch after the French Football Federation (FFF) consented to the request of the Royal Spanish Football Federation. This means that Laporte is available to play for Spain next month.
Players can make the switch as long as they had not played more than three matches for that country before the age of 21 and had not featured at a World Cup or continental tournament.
Laporte, who joined Manchester City in 2018, has never played for the France senior team despite making over 50 appearances for its youth teams.
The defender played an important role in Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City team for 18 months. However, the likes of Ruben Dias and John Stones surged ahead in defence.
The 26-year-old was born in Agen and represented France at various junior-level tournaments. He has Spanish ancestry through his great grandparents and rose through the ranks at La Liga side Athletic Bilbao before making a big-money move to Manchester City.
Laporte will now be available for selection for the Spanish national side, which is managed by Luis Enrique. He is expected to play alongside Sergio Ramos in the heart of the team’s defence.
Laporte’s ability on the ball also will allow Enrique’s side to play out from the back freely, which will make him a useful option.
This summer’s European Championship kicks off on June 11. Turkey will face Italy in the opening tie at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Spain will play their opening Group E fixture against Sweden on June 14.
The earliest Spain and France could collide in the tournament would be in the quarter-finals on July 2. For this to happen, Spain would have to be the runner-up in Group E. France would need to top Group F. Both sides would then have to win their respective round-of-16 matches.
The last time both countries met during an international tournament was in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 where Spain won 2-0.