Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Mbappe hailed as ´fantastic leader´ after dominating on France return

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 5 Jun 2024

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Kylian Mbappe put the furore over his move to Real Madrid to one side as France’s “fantastic leader” dominated in Wednesday’s 3-0 friendly victory over Luxembourg.

Didier Deschamps lauded the leadership qualities of star striker Mbappe, who celebrated confirmation of his switch to the Spanish capital with a goal and two assists at Stade Saint-Symphorien in Metz.

Mbappe dazzled down the left flank to find space and tee up Randal Kolo Muani’s first-half opener before paving the way for Jonathan Clauss’ finish after the break.

The France forward was not done there, however, rounding off a fine individual performance with a late goal after an assist from former Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Bradley Barcola.

Just 12 days before Les Bleus’ Euro 2024 opener against Austria, France head coach Deschamps was delighted with Mbappe’s resounding international return.

Deschamps told French channel TF1: “He’s a fantastic leader. His head and body weren’t used to playing so little. He lacked a bit of juice.

“But he got it in his head that he was going to do everything to make up for his PSG frustration. It was a good example during the week.”

France have a final warm-up friendly to come against Canada on Sunday before heading to the Euros, with Netherlands and Poland also in their challenging group.

Deschamps says this dominance over Luxembourg was a positive sign, though there remains room for improvement.

“It’s a good rehearsal for the work we’ve done,” he added.

“We’re not going to get excited but there are some interesting things. I’m going to correct some positioning.

“But in the offensive animation, we had a lot of variety.”

Olivier Giroud also became France’s oldest player in history in the victory, coming on as a second-half substitute aged 37 years and 249 days.

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