gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); Kylian Mbappé Struggles at Euro 2024 Despite France’s Progress – The Zimbabwe Mail

Kylian Mbappé Struggles at Euro 2024 Despite France’s Progress

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HAMBURG, Germany — Kylian Mbappé’s European Championship campaign has been far from ideal. Wearing a vision-limiting face mask due to a broken nose and grappling with fitness issues from the end of the club season, Mbappé has scored just one goal — a penalty.

Despite these challenges, the France captain remains focused on lifting the Henri Delaunay Cup in Berlin on July 14.

Mbappé’s fatigue was evident during the quarterfinals against Portugal in Hamburg on Friday. After taking a couple of hits to his protective mask, he asked to be substituted at halftime of extra time, foregoing a likely penalty in the impending shootout. France ultimately won 5-3 due to Joao Felix’s miss.

France coach Didier Deschamps confirmed Mbappé’s decision to step down for the good of the team. “He is always very honest with me and the team. When he feels he doesn’t have the capacity to accelerate then we can’t risk it, even a player like Kylian,” Deschamps said.

Mbappé admitted before the Portugal game that he wasn’t in prime shape and needed a “good pre-season to be at 100%.” This will come at Real Madrid, which he joined after his contract with Paris Saint-Germain ended.

A broken nose in France’s opening group game disrupted Mbappé’s tournament, restricting his peripheral vision and impacting his performance. His standout moments have been in press conferences, urging French citizens to vote in snap elections and warning against the dangers of the far right.

On the field, France heads into a semifinal match against Spain on Tuesday, having scored only three goals in the tournament — two own-goals and Mbappé’s penalty against Austria. No France player has scored from open play yet.

Like Greece in 2004, France is advancing largely due to its strong defense and team structure, though the talent within this French squad far surpasses that of Greece’s 20 years ago.

“In the locker room, we weren’t thinking that we still hadn’t scored a goal in the game,” said Mbappé, who scored a hat trick in the 2022 World Cup final. “But yes, we will look into the question (of France’s lack of efficiency in attack) while maintaining this defensive solidity. I’ve only scored one goal, but we’re in the semifinals and I’m very happy.”

Watching the penalty shootout from the sidelines was not easy for Mbappé. “It’s worse than shooting,” he said, laughing.

Source: AP