World Cup or football career? Umtiti's shocking decision
Win the FIFA World Cup or privilege your sports career? Umtiti never doubted the answer.
It is undeniable that the FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious and important tournament in football. It is the trophy that every footballer longs to lift at some point in his life. One of the best examples is Lionel Messi, considered one of the best football players in the world. "I would give everything to win the World Cup, it would be the greatest thing for me and Argentina. I was lucky enough to achieve many important things at the club level, but I would change all that for the World Cup. Nothing compares to a World Cup title".
Probably many great football stars (who have never won a World Cup) asked themselves the same question. "Would I trade all my achievements for the World Cup?". And this was the question asked by Samuel Umtiti, the French defender who won the 2018 World Cup. When Umtiti arrived at FC Barcelona he was a world-class defender and he was barely 23 years old. For 2 seasons, he was the starting defender for the Catalan team until problems with his knee began. The origin of the player's knee problems is due to an arthroscopy that he underwent at the age of 17, when he played in the lower categories of Lyon, to remove the meniscus. The postoperative period and recovery had complications. For several years, Umtiti preferred to avoid a new surgery, which would have kept him out of action for several months. However, with little time left before the start of the 2018 World Cup, the knee problems began to worsen.
Many doctors recommended that Umtiti undergo surgery to avoid wearing down the cartilage. However, if he had surgery he would miss the World Cup. But in the end, regardless of the consequences, Umtiti decided to "receive injections" and compete in the World Cup. The bet was risky but in the end, it paid off. Samuel Umtiti became world champion, after playing 6 of the 7 games and scoring a goal in the semi-finals against Belgium.
After the World Cup, Umtiti's career was never the same. When he returned to FC Barcelona, the injuries began to be more and more frequent, to the point of missing many games in the season. And for FC Barcelona, this began to be a very serious problem, since the player's salary was high. Also, the level of the player when he was on the court was very poor. To get an idea, in the first 2 seasons, Umtiti played a total of 83 games, but in the following 4 seasons, he barely played 50 games. Finally, in August 2022, FC Barcelona loaned the player to Lecce in Italy. But so far, Umtiti has not played a single minute for the Italian club.
Despite the constant problems, Umtiti never regretted the decision he made. "I took a risk in the World Cup, I really wanted to play because it is a tournament that it's played every four years. It was a dream that I fulfilled. I forced my knee in the World Cup but I don't regret it. However, now I am a FIFA world champion. In life, you have to make decisions and I do not regret this choice".