Kylian Mbappé captained the France national team in the first qualifying match for EURO 2024. He led his team to a convincing 4:0 debacle against the Netherlands, scoring two goals and adding an assist.
France has a new captain
The France national team made its first competitive appearance after losing the World Cup final in Qatar and announced its assault on the European title. The biggest star of coach Didier Deschamps’ selection has followed up on an excellent performance at the World Cup.
Already before the match, Deschamps announced a change in the captaincy of his team. The captain’s armband has been taken over by the still young striker Kylian Mbappé after goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who announced his retirement from the national team at the beginning of January.
The coach’s decision has sparked considerable debate over whether the only 24-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star deserves to lead the national team. Especially when 32-year-old Antoine Griezmann, who has much more national team experience, is still shining in attack.
“I spoke to Antoine because he was disappointed. It’s a reaction I understand. He’s 32 years old and he’s one of the best, if not the best, of the Didier Deschamps era,” Mbappé confirmed the speculation according to the Daily Mail.
Mbappé shone in his new role with two goals and an assist
But he repaid the trust of coach Deschamps in the best possible way in the Group B match against the Netherlands in Germany’s EURO qualifier. France demolished the Dutch team in the final match of the round.
The newly elected captain proved to be a true leader on the pitch and became the man of the match. Already in the 2nd minute he found Griezmann on the edge of the big whitewash, who put the ball into the net of the visiting goalkeeper Cillessen.
Just six minutes later, the score changed for the second time when stopper Upamecano scored from a set piece.
The French took the lead before the end of the first half when, in the 21st minute, the newly elected captain Mbappé, who kept his cool in the face of the visitors’ goalkeeper, scored his first goal as France captain after a beautiful run.
Mbappé could have scored after the change of sides, but Cillessen defused his attempt. He failed to do so with two minutes left in regulation time. After a beautiful individual action, Mbappé decided to give his team a clear victory.
France thus confirmed their role as the favourite of the tournament, beating their biggest opponent in the group 4:0. Mbappé thus introduced himself in his new role as captain in the best possible way and made the criticism of the coach’s decision go away.
Source:: Livesport, Twitter accounts – H., Jen Garden, ZIZOU and Yana, Daily Mail
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