While the Spanish team begins its World Cup this Wednesday, November 23 against Costa Rica, the Frenchman Christophe Laporte will play in the axis of the defense of Luis Enrique. However, the Frenchman has always dreamed of playing with the Blues at the World Cup. “My only goal is to play with the France team, explained Aymeric Laporte in L’Équipe. I am young, I have many years ahead of me to make this wish come true. As the years go by, the defender n didn’t really have a chance with the Blues and the only solution was to take Spanish nationality, something possible after having lived for at least five years in a row in the country of the Federation, a condition validated by the player between 2010 and 2018 in Bilbao .
Asked about Spain’s ambitions at a press conference, the Manchester City defender believes in the chances of La Roja. “Why can’t Spain be world champions? Like all national teams, each has its strengths. Most of us compete at the highest level. I think we have players in great shape. We work well with the coach. We have it all. But in this type of tournament, luck and other factors are necessary. But we will do everything to win.”
Born on May 27, 1994 in Agen, Aymeric Laporte discovered his passion for football at a very young age and started at the age of five in the local club SU Agen. But it is on the other side of the border that the young boy will flourish: spotted at the age of fifteen in a match against the youth section of Athletic Bilbao, Aymeric Laporte joined the training center of the Basque club in the summer of 2010 thanks to the family origins of his grandfather (Athletic Bilbao only accepting Basque players or players with Basque origins in its workforce).
He played his first games with the Bilbao A team during the 2011-2012 season and played 222 games for the Basque club. By the time he joined the France U23 team, he established himself as one of La Liga’s greatest hopefuls in his position and caught the eye of the biggest European teams. In January 2018, he signed for the English club Manchester City under the orders of Pep Guardiola. Since then, he has played more than 100 games for the Mancunian club for eight goals scored.
In the national team, his career is more complicated: after having known nineteen selections for the Bleuets, he was called up only three times to the Bleus by the coach Didier Deschamps in 2016, in particular to play a match of selection for the 2018 World Cup, but without ever knowing a single selection. Summoned again in 2019 to play two qualifying matches for Euro 2020 against Andorra and Albania, Aymeric Laporte is injured and therefore does not participate. Tired of waiting for his time in the France team, Aymeric Laporte obtained his Spanish naturalization in May 2021 in order to integrate the national team. A few days later, he appears in the list of 24 Spanish players selected to play Euro 2021 by the coach Luis Enrique.
After several loans to Aviron Bayonnais then to CD Baskonia, Aymeric Laporte established himself with Athletic Bilbao as one of the essential defenders in his position in La Liga. With the Basque club, he experienced a Spanish Cup final lost to FC Barcelona in 2015 before taking his revenge by triumphing over Barça a few months later in the Spanish Super Cup. After his transfer to England on the Manchester City side, his record will then increase considerably alongside Pep Guardiola. Aymeric Laporte thus has three English league titles to his credit (2018, 2019 and 2021), an FA Cup in 2019 and three English League Cups (2019, 2020 and 2021), even being decisive in the last edition by scoring the only goal of the match against Tottenham. He also won the Community Shield in 2018 at the expense of outgoing champions and lifelong rivals Manchester United.
In a context of explosion in the transfer budgets of English clubs under the impetus of the massive increase in television broadcasting rights, the transfer of Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City during the 2018 winter transfer window was particularly noticed. The defender had signed up that year for a five-year contract and for an amount of 65 million euros. This sum simply represented at the time the second largest transfer in history for a defender, behind that of Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton to Liverpool (estimated at 84 million euros). His salary at Manchester City is estimated at 6.7 million euros annually, or 140,000 euros per week.
Aymeric Laporte has been in a relationship with his girlfriend Sara Botello for many years now. The couple met as soon as the young Aymeric arrived in Bilbao, since it was the parents of the young woman who helped her future companion to settle in the Basque city. Born on October 9, 1994 in Bilbao itself, Sara Botello is also a personality in the Spanish sports world. She is indeed a professional dancer, both in ballet and in contemporary dance, and was also a cheerleader for the basketball club in her city. Since their meeting, Sara Botello has followed her companion through his transfers, the couple having settled in Manchester in 2018. Thus, she regularly attends Manchester City matches in the stands.