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France U21 coach Ripoll tells Liverpool: Konate a leader; one of my best

France U21 coach Sylvain Ripoll is full of praise for Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate.

Ripoll believes the youngster will develop into a leader for club and country.

He told L'Equipe: “He is an outstanding competitor. He has a very big personality. We worked several years together, and therefore had the opportunity to talk at length.

"He is a very talented boy. One of my best encounters as a coach. Even being one of the youngest, at the very beginning, he was one of the first to speak. And someone like him doesn't necessarily even need to talk. He exudes a lot just by his presence.

"I remember a match at Euro 2021. We lost the first match (0-1 against Denmark). On the second (2-0 against Russia), he starts. He was coming out of a long period without playing. I knew what this game meant to him. It immediately brought about revolt.

"He has such strength of character... He's a very strong person in the face of pressure. His period without playing made him evolve, too. He learned a lot about the sincerity of certain relationships. He sometimes felt confused. It was difficult for him but he has such strength of character that he was able to bounce back."

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