Republic of Ireland's Darren Randolph
Republic of Ireland and West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph has been quoted on the Hammers website discussing who he wants to win the European Championships, after Dimitri Payet's France side won 2-1 on Sunday to send the Boys in Green home.
And the Irishman has indicated that his loyalty is with Payet rather than England or Wales, after sharing an embrace with the Frenchman at the conclusion of the game in Lyon.
“Payet didn’t score but his team did come out on top,” Randolph is quoted as saying by whufc.com. “I just finished speaking to him on the pitch. He’s obviously going to be watching [England vs. Iceland] to see who he faces next.
Republic of Ireland's Darren Randolph reacts as France's Dimitri Payet hugs him after the game
“I personally will be rooting for France for the tournament, now.”
The goalkeeper was naturally devastated to see his European Championships tournament come to a frustrating conclusion, but his Hammers teammate was one of the first to commiserate the Ireland stopper, in pictures shared and applauded around the world.
Both Payet and Randolph arrived at Upton Park last summer, and while the France international has become a superstar after his phenomenal performances both in East London and for his national team, the former Charlton man has played a support role, having deputised for regular starter Adrian 15 times last season.
France's Dimitri Payet celebrates
The 29-year-old has enjoyed a strong debut tournament for Ireland, and was again impressive at keeping out a France attack full of talent, not least from his club mate.
Randolph will now return to West Ham and look to build on that form and make a case for the number one shirt. If the goalkeeper gets his wish, Payet could end up returning as a champion.
West Ham's Darren Randolph