Jean Francois Larios was left in international wilderness in the build-up to the 1984 European Championships following damaging rumours that he was romantically involved with Michel Platini's wife.
The stalwart Saint-Etienne midfielder made a total of 17 appearances for his country and scored five goals after making his debut in 1978 – but didn't play beyond the age of 26 – and he blames Platini.
His absence came after rumours of a falling out with the France skipper, who made his debut in 1976 and captained the side between 1979 and 1987.
Platini had been playing alongside Larios at Saint-Etienne when the rumours first surfaced, and a deep connection was said to have been made between the older player and the wife of the future Ballon d'Or winner.
Larios took part in an interview with French journalist Bertrand Metayer on the release of his autobiography, I Played With Fire back in of November 2017, detailing his side of the story.
Larios said: "This is the story of Adam and Eve, the original fault. But it was love at first sight, a true love story. We thought we were well hidden but unfortunately it was rumored.
“With him [Platini], we no longer spoke. Not even a hello. But we continued to play together. When you have a contract, you shut your mouth.
"We were in the middle of the championship, there was the World Cup coming … in January 1982, I went to see coach Michel Hidalgo to explain the situation to him. I suggest to him that for the good of the team, I will pretend an injury and not go to the World Cup. He refused.
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"But I had become a third card. It was he (Platini) who decided who played or not in the France team. I knew it, I took my responsibilities. It would have been different if he had been an average player.
"There are things like these that have happened in other clubs and it has not come out. A woman who leaves with her husband’s best friend sometimes happens in life.
"Finally, she said goodbye to me on the phone, she chose not to stay with me. I had to accept it.
"[With Platini], we only saw each other again in 2001 on a beach in Mauritius. I was jogging and getting out of the water. He just took his head in his hands when he saw me, but we didn’t have a word."
Platini joined Juventus in the summer of 1982, with Larios moving to Atletico Madrid and playing for six other clubs before his retirement in 1988.
Platini went on to win Euro 84 with the national side and win three Ballon d'Or trophies, and becoming the manager of the national side between 1988 and 1992.
More recently, the 66-year-old was banned from football until 2023 during his time as president of UEFA over violations of ethics.
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