France’s new era with captain Mbappe and Griezmann is not happy

Julian LawrenceReporter5 minutes to read

Laurens: Griezmann was really upset when he chose Mbappe as France’s captain

Julien Laurens explains that Antoine Griezmann is upset at being overlooked as captain of France in favor of Kylian Mbappe.

The contrast between facial expressions and body language France teammates Kylian Mbappe And Antoine Griezmann The last two days couldn’t be greater. Mbappe, who was chosen by Didier Deschamps as the new captain of the France national team on Monday, after his international retirement. Hugo Lloris And Raphael Varane, were all smiles and full of energy; It is clear that he is already in driving mode. Cut through for the role, Griezmann is a different figure.

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When he arrived at Clairefontaine, Les BluesHeadquartered in southern Paris, Mbappe wore sunglasses and a long cashmere coat from two of his patrons. He looked like the boss of the place, as if he knew he was going to get the captain. At 24, he is one of the youngest French captains and after his impressive performance in 2022 world Cup – Scored eight goals, including three in the final defeat to Argentina – it’s understandable why Deschamps chose the Paris Saint-Germain star.

On the other hand, Griezmann was scorned. He really believed he was going to be named the new captain, and he made a compelling case. There is the experience of his national team – Atletico Madrid The striker turned 32 on Tuesday and has 117 caps for France, compared to Mbappe’s 66 – his strong bond with Deschamps since winning his debut in 2014, and his form in LaLiga where he has been one of the best players this season. And also in the World Cup.

Griezmann could see himself captaining France at Euro 2024 in Germany, which will likely be his last international competition, but instead he’ll just be vice-captain. To say he’s upset about the decision is an understatement. He didn’t complain to Deshan directly, but he was furious in private and you could clearly see it in the days after he was informed. He will not leave the national team – he will play against Friday Holland And Monday against the Republic of Ireland – but he’s not in the mood right now.

The announcement marks the start of a new era for France – the Mbappe era – which begins with qualifying for Euro 2024 this week. But with this choice come the obvious criticisms.

Is he a team player like Griezmann, who was coached by Diego Simeone for this role at Atlético? no he’s not. Is he the best player in France? naturally. Are the best players always the captains of their teams? Not all the time, but most of the time. Was it easier for Deschamps to tell Griezmann the bad news than it was for Mbappe? certainly.

If you are Deschamps, you cannot “lose” Mbappe. In a recent interview with Le Parisien, the coach explained how he views his new captain.

“Killian is the best in the world,” Deschamps said. “What he’s doing at his age is exceptional.” In response to a question about what impresses him most about the Paris Saint-Germain star, he added: “His maturity and intelligence. He controls his communications and speaks different languages. He has the ability to simplify difficult situations.

“Some people say he’s selfish; I don’t agree with him. Of course, he can make the difference on his own but he always thinks of the team… He offers many solutions. He has his nerves and personality but he’s easy to deal with.”

France coach Didier Deschamps was keen to dispel any concerns about Mbappe’s readiness to wear the armband.FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images

Deschamps, who signed a four-year extension after the World Cup, knows he needs Mbappe in his squad more than Griezmann. At his age, and despite doing well at the World Cup in a new, deeper midfield position, the Atletico forward is not a necessity.

However, it would be an adjustment for PSG forward. Clearly, the captaincy places more responsibility on Mbappe beyond his level. But you shouldn’t feel extra pressure or become a burden; If anything, it will be an extra motivation for him to become even better. We saw at the World Cup how Mbappe has stepped up when it comes to leadership, on and off the field. It will be much the same in terms of day-to-day responsibilities, but the leader can also make them more aware of the larger group.

Deschamps can say what he wants: Mbappe has a well-organised image and carries some reputation as a selfish player. Some of the reactions and frustrations he’s shown towards some of his teammates in the past can’t happen now that he’s captain. It is helpful for him to wear the armband and teach him to be more measured at all times.

However, his entourage told ESPN that the captain wouldn’t change him and that he was relishing the opportunity. Knowing Mbappe’s competitive nature, he will not only want to be a good captain, he will want to be the best captain France has ever seen – the most successful and the most efficient.

He may not break Lloris’ record for most appearances as captain (121), but Mbappe’s era and this journey should be very exciting indeed.

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