According to website GFFN, France Football has tracked down the father of World Cup stars Theo and Lucas Hernandez. Their father, Jean-Francois Hernandez, had been missing since 2004, following a footballing career that included stints with Atletico Madrid and Marseille.
Back in 2019, Lucas Hernandez opened up about his father's disappearance, stating in an interview with DAZN (via Marca):
"One day my father left and we never knew anything about him again. I never tried to contact him. When I was younger, I thought about where he might be and I'd have liked to know more.
"I'm clear that he left because he didn't love us and if that was the case, then it's for the best that he left. Now 16 or 17 years have passed and we haven't heard anything about him. I don't know where my father is, what he does, or if he's still alive or not."
However, revelations from France Football have indicated that their father moved to Thailand, before returning to the European country in 2020. Childhood friends, relatives, and former teammates opened up to the French outlet, explaining that the older Hernandez did not abandon his sons.
On the contrary, he made the decision to leave after his ex-partner did "horrible things," opting for a move to Thailand. It is also believed that he ensured that his sons, Lucas and Theo, had all they needed.
Jean-Francois Hernandez is also said to have had tears in his eyes whenever he saw the duo play for France, as they have both excelled in their footballing careers.
Paris Saint-Germain coach Christophe Galtier was Jean-Francois Hernandez's former teammate, and the manager was quoted as having said:
“It hurts me to find out that 'Jeff' doesn’t dare call me. I’m really emotional. I really want to see him, to speak on the phone. I know he’s modest, but I have a thousand things to tell him. I can help him if he needs it.”
France prepare to defend their World Cup trophy
Lucas Hernandez was part of France's 2018 World Cup-winning campaign. Les Blues had an inspiring run in that tournament, held in Russia. Four years have since passed, and they would need to defend their title against strong teams like Argentina, Brazil, and England.
With group-stage matches against Australia, Denmark, and Tunisia, France are expected to get into the knockout round of the World Cup with ease. Players like Theo and Lucas Hernandez will hope that their public family issues do not keep them from performing brilliantly and pushing Les Blues to a consecutive World Cup.
The French squad of 25 members for the World Cup was announced on Wednesday, 9 November, by their manager Didier Deschamps. Kylian Mbappe is the biggest name, having won the Ballon d'Or recently.
Paul Pogba and Ngolo Kante miss out due to injury. Veteran Olivier Giroud has been named in the squad.
Steve Mandanda, Hugo Lloris, Alphonse Areola, Jules Kounde, Theo Hernandez, Presnel Kimpembe, Ibrahima Konate, Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, William Saliba, Dayot Upamecano, Raphael Varane, Eduardo Camavinga, Youssouf Fofana, Adrien Rabiot, Aurelien Tchouameni, Matteo Guendouzi, Jordan Veretout, Kingsley Coman, Ousmane Dembele, Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud, Karim Benzema, Christopher Nkunku