Samuel Umtiti isn't enjoying the greatest moment of his football career right now. After winning the World Cup with France, despite being in pain for the majority of the tournament, that decision has since impacted his ability to play football at the highest level. The centre back went against the advice of FC Barcelona in order to ensure he'd be available for the international tournament. Even now, that isn't something Umtiti regrets. "I had to put pressure on my knee throughout the World Cup, but now I'm a World champion."
Umtiti refused to go under the knife to correct his knee problem and instead travelled to Qatar for a different kind of treatment. Since then, he's only played 21 matches and only 15 of those were with Barça. "In life you have to make decisions and that's the one I chose. I don't regret it."
However, despite Umtiti's lack of regret, the reality of that decision is clear to see. Clement Lenglet has established himself as Barcelona's first choice centre back alongside Gerard Pique in his teammate's absence. And now, after proving himself at the Camp Nou, Lenglet has taken Umtiti's position in the national team as well.
He was an unused substitute against Albania and returns to Barça early because of a foot injury.
Umtiti is a person who can always be seen with a smile on his face. Inside though, he must be aware of the difficulty facing him as he looks to regain his position at both club and international level. Barça's medical team will need to evaluate his injury, which has nothing to do with his knee, but will no doubt set him back once again.