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Deschamps ‘forced to refuse President Macron’s wife’s request to call up player for France’… because he is Japanese

FRANCE manager Didier Deschamps was forced to reject the First Lady’s plea to call up a Reims star – because he is Japanese.

Junya Ito has caught the eye for Will Still’s side this season, who are sixth in Ligue Un.

Brigitte Macron, left, told France boss Didier Deschamps to call up Junya Ito

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Brigitte Macron, left, told France boss Didier Deschamps to call up Junya ItoCredit: AFP
Ito has caught the eye for Reims this season but he is actually Japanese

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Ito has caught the eye for Reims this season but he is actually JapaneseCredit: Getty

So much so France’s First Lady Brigitte Macron has been singing his praises.

Brigitte even went as far as suggesting the winger should be called up to the national team to France boss Deschamps as they met at a charity hospital visit in Reims.

Deschamps reportedly responded by bursting out laughing, before informing the First Lady that he would not be able to accept her request since Ito is Japanese.

In fact, the 30-year-old is currently away on international duty with Japan at the Asian Cup.

He has 13 goals in 54 games for his country and helped Japan qualify from their group in the Asian Cup, despite losing to Iraq.

Ito has two goals and four assists in 17 games for Reims, who are just five points off a Champions League qualification spot.

Boss Still has impressed since his move to France and was shortlisted for the Sunderland job last month, before the Black Cats opted for Michael Beale.

Still, 31, a Belgian whose parents hail from England, studied at Myerscough College in order to launch his career in coaching.

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A keen Football Manager player, he landed his first managerial role with Belgian side Lierse aged just 24 in 2017.

He then took charge of Beerschot before becoming assistant boss to Oscar Garcia at Reims.

Still took over as boss in October 2022 and went unbeaten in his first 17 games, leading Reims to an 11th-placed finish last term.

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