Garcia defends choice to start Payet despite hamstring injury

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dimitri payet

Olympique Marseille got trashed on Wednesday by Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final (3-0). The game was not the only thing the French side has lost, as star midfielder Dimitri Payet was forced off the pitch through injury in the first half.

The French international had been sidelined prior to the Final in Lyon with a muscle injury, but was prepped to play in the final. Payet then left the field after only 32 minutes into the first half and could now be missing the World Cup with France this summer.

Marseille coach Rudi Garcia defended his decision to include Payet in the game. “I chose to start Dimitri, one of our best players,” explained Garcia. “Even diminished, he set up a chance for Valere Germain. We missed him from set-pieces as Atletico, if they do ever concede, sometimes concede from set-pieces.

“We hoped that he’d be at 100 per cent and we gave him a fitness test this morning”, Garcia continued. “He was worried about playing and whether he’d be able to kick the ball hard. He didn’t aggravate the injury today, he just wasn’t fully fit. In matches like this you have to take risks.”

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