Celtic centre-back Christopher Jullien recently opened up on hopes about a potential France career.
Despite substantial experience in Ligue 1 with the likes of Toulouse and Dijon, combined with his massively-impressive start to life at Celtic – Jullien hasn’t yet been capped for France.
You can understand it too. With the likes of Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti just a taster of his competition, it’s going to be one heck of an effort for Jullien to even get a call-up. After all, even the likes of Moussa Dembele has yet to be given a senior cap. But Jullien hasn’t given up on the idea (The Herald).
Jullien also doesn’t have to look too far into Celtic’s history books for an inspiring story that relates to his own.
If you would’ve said back in December 2016 that Dedryck Boyata was going to be a Belgium regular, you would’ve been laughed at. Coming off the back of a shocking campaign under Ronny Deila, he was out-of-favour under Brendan Rodgers at the start of his tenure
Meanwhile, on the international stage, Boyata looked on as Jan Vertonghen and Vincent Kompany became his main competition. There was absolutely no chance of a Belgium call for him, right?
Boyata was given a chance in January 2017 against St Johnstone and netted the only goal of the game. From there, he never looked back. He became a mainstay under Rodgers, yet he was still prone to blunders from time to time.
Boyata is proof of why Jullien’s dream is still alive
The Belgian never looked overly-comfortable on the ball, and it proved to be his downfall on certain occasions. But his exposure to Champions League and Europa League football eventually led to a Belgium shot.
Boyata arrived at Parkhead in 2015 with one cap to his name. He ended up leaving with 15. 14 international caps were given to him for his high level of performances and the exposure he was getting at Parkhead (Transfermarkt).
Let’s also not forget that Boyata was also playing in a team ranked first in the World Rankings too. Belgium were hardly stumbling around and experimenting with their back-line.
And that’s exactly why Jullien shouldn’t give up the dream of a France call-up. Sure, they’re the World Champions, and true, competition is arguably greater.
But playing at the top level of European football and impressing against top European sides will make it difficult for Jullien to be ignored. He’s flying in the Europa League, and that’s just the start for him in Scotland.
He has every right to keep the dream alive. Boyata, who Jullien looks to be more accomplished than, is living proof as to why.