For Mamadou Sakho, 2016 was a very difficult year, accused then cleared of a doping violation, which saw him lose his spot both at Liverpool and in the France national team.
The centre-back eventually went on loan to and then permanently signed for Crystal Palace, where he has, when fit, been a key member of Roy Hodgson’s team.
Now back in the France squad, called up by Didier Deschamps for the upcoming games against Iceland and Germany, the 28-year-old is just glad to be able to put all that behind him and look forward to what he can accomplish for the remainder of his career.
However, when asked about that dark period by Foot Mercato on Thursday, he admitted the false accusations weren’t the hardest part to live through.
He said: “The most difficult thing for me was to see those close to me suffer. I’m someone who moves on quickly. Life experience has shown me you need to assess, find a solution and go forward. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself and cry.
“But it’s true that seeing my mum suffer because of it, to see my brothers and sisters, my wife, my friends suffer, that was hard for me. I was there to tell them it would be OK, that the soldier would continue to work hard and it would go well.”
While there’s no guarantee he’ll play in the upcoming games for France (just ask Florian Thauvin), Thursday night’s game against Iceland, a friendly, is his best bet, as Deschamps will likely pick his best team to face Germany in the Nations League.