Everton star cheerfully tweets a fond farewell to the big stage after accumulating a grand total of zero caps for his country.
I m retiring from France team. It was a wonderful experience and after a record of #0 cap it's time to say goodbye and focus on my club— Sylvain Distin (@sylvaind15tin) May 14, 2014
Sylvain Distin today signalled his intention to retire from international football.
Usually such a statement from a player is met with homage to wonderful service for their country, littered with heroic tales and competitive highlights. For the veteran Everton centre-half however, it is quite a different story, as although having amassed 438 Premier League appearances over 13 seasons, he has never once featured for France.
It is not known why the 36-year-old Parisian-born defender was so often overlooked.
Although he contested the position with formidable defensive greats such as Lilian Thuram, Marcel Desailly, Franck Leboeuf, William Gallas and Eric Abidal, when you consider that ex-Arsenal man Sébastien Squillaci managed 20 appearances for his country, you wonder why there was never room for big Sylvain.
The ex-Newcastle United, Manchester City and Portsmouth player currently sits 19th in the all-time Premier League appearances list – the highest outfield foreign player.
Surely such top-flight competitive ever-presence was enough for international selection? Although perhaps, as two-time Premier League winner Samir Nasri has just discovered, it can be a difficult task to be selected for the French national team.
As an aside, the timing of Distin’s declaration might perhaps suggest that he was sitting by the phone, hoping that things might just be different this time and now, after all these years, he was going to get the call to represent his country on the biggest stage.
When that call did not come, he shrugged, sighed, picked up his phone and tweeted.
Au revoir, Sylvain!