Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Mbappe not included in Henry´s preliminary Olympics squad

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 3 Jun 2024

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Kylian Mbappe has been left out of France’s 25-man preliminary Olympics squad ahead of the Games in Paris starting next month.

Thierry Henry, who is the coach of Les Bleus’ under-23 side, did not include the Paris Saint-Germain forward, who is expected to complete a move to Real Madrid in the coming days following Los Blancos’ 15th Champions League success.

The 46-year-old has until July 3 to confirm his final 22-player list ahead of group-stage fixtures against the United States on July 24, Guinea on July 27 and New Zealand on July 30.

Henry has revealed he faced plenty of difficulties when selecting his squad, with several clubs refusing to release their players for the tournament.

Because the football event at the Olympics is not formally recognised by FIFA, clubs are not obliged to release their players for the competition, which begins on July 24 and ends on August 9.

“Real Madrid were really straightforward about the Olympics,” Henry said when quizzed about Mbappe’s omission from the squad.

“The last time I received so many rejections was at the university. There have not even been negotiations. You go, you ask, they say no, and you leave.”

Henry was able to include several talented stars from across European football, including Crystal Palace duo Michael Olise and Jean-Philippe Mateta, while Bayern Munich’s Mathys Tel and PSG’s Warren Zaire-Emery were among the other high-profile inclusions.

However, Chelsea stars Malo Gusto and Benoit Badiashile were refused release from Stamford Bridge, but the Blues were able to offer midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu.

Asked if he was disappointed by the decisions made by Premier League clubs, Henry replied: “I will respond to this one very, very clearly – it’s not the time for me to talk about that, firstly.

“Secondly, am I disappointed or surprised? No. Neither disappointed nor surprised, the clubs are within their rights, unfortunately, and I think what I have been saying hasn’t changed since I started talking about the Olympics.”

Les Bleus have previously won two medals at the Olympic Games, taking silver on home soil in Paris back in 1900 and gold at Los Angeles in 1984.

The rules of the competition state that each team must be made up of players born on or after January 1, 2001 (aged 23 at the time of the Games). However, three players born before that date can also be included.

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