Kylian Mbappe was recently appointed as the France national team‘s captain by manager Didier Deschamps ahead of Antoine Griezmann. Griezmann was not shy of expressing his disappointment of not getting the captaincy himself. He even went so far as to consider retiring from the international team.
In a recent press conference, Kylian Mbappe stood by his teammate and stated how he feels about the situation.
“I spoke with Antoine. He was disappointed and that’s understandable. I told him I would have had the same reaction,” he said. “He is perhaps the most important player in the Deschamps era. He has the experience. If he has something to say, I will sit down and listen. You mustn’t shut the door to anyone. Everyone is free to express themselves.”
Kylian Mbappé: "I spoke with Antoine because he was disappointed not to be captain." That makes sense. It is an acceptable reaction. He spent more than 10 years in the French Team. He's the most important player of the Deschamps era. I am not his hierarchical superior. pic.twitter.com/8UxIV0dWvz
— Frank Khalid OBE (@FrankKhalidUK) March 24, 2023
It is clear that Mbappe still sees Griezmann as a valuable member of the team.
In hindsight, one could argue that Griezmann was the more suitable one to take up the captain’s role. He has years of experience in his bag and has been a key performer for Les Bleus throughout the years.
Considering the big picture, Deschamp values Mbappe more than Griezmann. Being only 24 years old, Mbappe is significantly younger than Griezmann, and he is already a proven player and leader on the pitch. His performances for the France national team, as well as at club level, have been sensational.
How well has Kylian Mbappe done for France?
Kylian Mbappe has established himself as one of the best modern-day soccer players on the planet. He was instrumental in France’s 2018 World Cup victory, where he became the youngest Frenchman to score at a World Cup and the second teenager to score in a World Cup final. During the campaign, Mbappe scored a total of 4 goals.
Mbappe came back stronger than ever in 2022, aiming for a repeat of his 2018 World Cup victory. In the final game against Argentina, his heroics forced the game into a penalty shootout, where he scored a hattrick to come back from 2-0 to 3-3.
Kylian Mbappe at half time in the World Cup final making a speech which briefly helped change the game.
— Frank Khalid OBE (@FrankKhalidUK) March 23, 2023
Despite his incredible efforts, France lost in the penalty shootout, and Argentina were crowned world champions. Mbappe scored a total of 8 goals during the tournament, and was awarded the golden boot.
— 〽️ (@kyks_98) March 24, 2023
As it stands, Kylian Mbappe will be leading the France squad in the upcoming Euro qualifiers. France will be kicking things off against Ireland, which will take place on March 28.