Aymeric Laporte felt jealous when watching France win the World Cup having been left out of Didier Deschamps' squad.
Manchester City defender Laporte was among the headline absentees, although he is uncapped, having been included in a squad for friendly matches in March.
The 24-year-old centre-back also qualifies to play for Spain and said it was tough to watch Les Bleus succeed without him.
"There was jealousy, to be honest," Laporte told reporters. "The decisions were made and you just have to accept them - that's how it is in football.
"It didn't come as a surprise to me that I wasn't involved. I hadn't been in the previous squad – that had been named without me – but it was still a little disappointing for me not to be involved.
"It was a really good summer. There was plenty of relaxing with family and friends. I was really happy to get back home after a tough season."
Laporte is now focusing on life at City after helping the club to a runaway Premier League title success last term, Pep Guardiola's side also claiming the EFL Cup.
"I've had a really good six months here," the former Athletic Bilbao defender said. "We won two titles and obviously, we won a lot of games.
"It would have been nice if we'd have played in the latter rounds of the Champions League but that's something we can work towards this year.
"I feel like I've been a starter since I've been here. I'll keep working to stay in the first XI and if we're winning games, then I hope I can do that. Everyone wants to start and I'm working towards that.
"Pep is the best manager in the world – he's always looking to help me get better and improve my game. He's demanding, yes, but it's not scary. His is a style of play that I really enjoy.
"I think I can improve and so can the team, playing like this. I'm comfortable with what he asks me to do. It's been a great move - a perfect move for me."