France Boss Defends Mbappé Amid Criticism

Kylian Mbappe


France manager, Didier Deschamps, has come to the defence of his captain and star player Kylian Mbappé amid criticism of the striker’s Euro 2024 performances.

Mbappé, 25, has scored just once in the tournament — a penalty in the final group game against Poland — with France reaching the semifinals despite not scoring a goal from open play.

Deschamps substituted Real Madrid’s latest signing in extra time of their quarterfinal win over Portugal on penalties, with Mbappé saying he asked to be taken off.

Speaking on the French television show Téléfoot on Sunday, Deschamps reminded those criticising Mbappé of what he has already achieved in the sport.

“Don’t you think he has already made enough history, with what he has done so far?” the coach said. “He wants to make even more history.

“We did everything we could with him, with the medical staff, to get him to be here. During the preparation, he had a little back problem, too, but Kylian is here.”

Deschamps also responded to suggestions that if he is not entirely fit, Mbappé could be benched in order to try to kick-start the team’s spluttering attack.

The forward has been forced to play most of the tournament while wearing a mask, having broken his nose in a collision with Kevin Danso in his team’s opening group game against Austria.

“Even if he’s not 100%, I know very well that for the opponent, knowing he’s playing makes them think and forces them to adapt,” Deschamps said.

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