Theo Hernandez wants to win the World Cup for France. And for his big brother, he told the media at the end of November after the game in Australia.
Lucas Hernandez was in tears when he tore the ACL in his right knee two weeks ago during France’s 4-1 win over Australia. His brother Theo replaced him at left back in an outright trade, even though they are different player styles
“His injury was very bad news for us. It is not easy for him either, because it is also a very long injury,” said 25-year-old Theo, who is a year younger than his brother.
“Since he left Qatar, I’ve talked to him every day on the phone. I want to play every game here because I want to bring the trophy back for him.”
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France had a nightmarish start to the World Cup with star players Kante and Pogba, among others, out due to injury. However, Lucas had torn his ACL after the start of the tournament.
The younger Hernandez, who plays for Italian champions AC Milan, is more attacking than his brother and sometimes appears more of a winger than a defender.
Batmobil man: “Call me a Ferrari”
At a press conference earlier, a Chinese journalist told him that his nickname among Chinese fans is ‘Supercar’ because of its incredible speed.
“I prefer Ferrari,” he joked with a smile.
Hernandez, the Milan player, is known for his Bat-mobil-esque speed car, which became famous with a Carbon vinyl finish paint job for a glossy all-black finish for the prancing horse.
He had said it is a dream for him to play on the left side of the French attack with Adrien Rabiot in midfield and Kylian Mbappé up front.
When he set up Mbappé for France’s winning goal in Saturday’s 2-1 win against Denmark, they jumped into each other’s arms.
“We combine really well together and it’s a real pleasure,” Hernandez said.
“When you have Kylian in front of you, it becomes easy. We get along very well on the field.”
It also brings sharp focus to his game.
“I try not to miss any of my passes,” he said.
Coach Didier Deschamps has turned France upside down in two games, dealing with a string of injuries and taking a new, more direct approach.
Despite the offensive intent, Hernandez is aware of his place in the team and his defensive duties.
“I know I can’t push up too much,” he said.
(with AP inputs)