Kylian Mbappe does not believe it is down to him to “save the day” for France and ensure Les Bleus qualify for the World Cup.
Although France are one point clear at the top of Group A ahead of Saturday’s game against Bulgaria, only maximum points from the trip to Sofia and a home game against Belarus will guarantee a place at Russia 2018.
Mbappe scored his first international goal in a 4-0 thumping of Netherlands in Paris in August, only for Didier Deschamps’ men to fail to break the deadlock against a stubborn Luxembourg three days later.
That goalless draw leaves France vulnerable to being caught by second-placed Sweden, while Netherlands and Bulgaria both retain slim hopes of automatic qualification, but Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe is unconcerned by the pressure.
“No, I won’t save the day,” the 18-year-old told a press conference on Thursday. “We have 11 players on the pitch.
“People expect more from me and that’s normal. When you have good players, it’s reasonable to want them to make a difference.
“But I think we have a quality squad with a lot of good players. It’s not just one player who will make the difference, but everyone will.
“I really can’t wait to play this crucial game. We love it when there is so much pressure. We want to be on the pitch to play the game and defend the colours of France.”
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) October 3, 2017
Mbappe has made a flying start to life at PSG, where he teams up with the world’s most expensive player Neymar, but he opted not to compare the Brazilian with his international team-mate Antoine Griezmann.
“They are two different players,” Neymar said, dodging a question about which forward he would rather play with. “Neymar is more creative and Griezmann is more clinical in front of goal. So they are two different players and I can learn from both of them every day.
“I think I can improve in every aspect. Tactically, I sometimes miss things. I can also do better technically, score more when I have chances and defend more. There are a lot of things I need to improve. But I still have time and I will get better.
“Olivier [Giroud] is very nice. He made me comfortable from the beginning. He’s still doing that, by the way. I think Olivier has been here a long time. He’s already shown how much he can bring to France. He has a particular profile. He is very accurate in front of goal and our relationship is very good, as it is between two team-mates who like each other.”
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