News Live Scores

‘It hardened me’ - Tolisso says injury led to mental toughness after France return

19:13 WAT 09/09/2019
Corentin Tolisso France
The midfielder says the road back from his knee surgery has made him stronger as he makes his way back into the fold for club and country

France and Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso says his road back from knee surgery in the last year “hardened” him and helped him grow mentally.

The 25-year-old Tolisso enjoyed a bright start to his Bayern career after making the move to the Bundesliga champions from Lyon in the summer of 2017.

Tolisso scored six goals and added four assists as he was part in another domestic triumph for Bayern, and then featured five times for France in the 2018 World Cup.

While he returned to Bayern a world champion, Tolisso’s 2018 took a negative turn after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in September that year, which sidelined him for most of the season.

He ultimately made just two league appearances for Bayern last term as he fought his way back to injury.

Tolisso has since returned for Bayern, starting two matches this year, and made his first appearance for France since his injury, going 90 minutes in a 4-1 win over Albania on Saturday.

And Tolisso admits the work needed to get back to the top, a journey which he says still continues, toughened him up.

“I think it made me grow mentally, it hardened me,” Tolisso told reporters. “It forges a mindset.

“I knew that I had to work hard to get back to the top level. I have to continue like this and find my true level before my injury. It depends only on me. I have to give myself a little time.

“With Bayern, I worked a lot too. I made good preparations. It's up to me to continue like this.

“Today, I managed to return to the France team. It's up to me to prove with Bayern to return again. But it was very emotional. I was very, very proud to be here yesterday.”

Tolisso’s team-mate with both France and Bayern, Kingsley Coman, proved key in the Albania victory, delivering a brace.

Coman is no stranger to injury himself, having dealt with multiple ankle injuries that has made him speculate about his long-term future, as well as kept him out of the 2018 World Cup.

And when asked about his club and international team-mate, Tolisso praised Coman for his own mental toughness as he has overcame injury to get into fine form.

“I think it was complicated for Kingsley,” Tolisso said. “I know it's been difficult, so I'm not going to talk to him about his absence at the World Cup.

“He is in great shape. What he has been doing since the beginning of the season is exceptional and I hope it will continue like this.

“We say injuries forge mental toughness and I think Kingsley is very mentally strong.”