Liverpool centre-back Ibrahima Konaté (23) has fully backed Didier Deschamps’ decision to hand Kylian Mbappé (24) the skipper’s armband for Les Bleus. As exclusively revealed by Get French Football News last month, the Paris Saint-Germain free-scoring forward has been announced as the new captain of the France national team, whilst Antoine Griezmann (32) has been named as vice-captain. “Even if I had a say in this, it would not change a thing. It’s the coach’s decision but I’m very happy“, assessed Konaté in an interview with Eurosport – “Honestly, Kylian deserves it. We’re unanimous on this.“
The Liverpool centre-back explained that Mbappé had all the credentials needed to follow in the footsteps of Hugo Lloris. “He deserves it with what he’s done at the World Cup and with PSG as well. He’s a very good leader, on and off the pitch.” Konaté also rebuffed the suggestion that Mbappé’s profile and ever-rising status have, over time, made him cocky or condescending. A claim that has even found his way into Liverpool’s dressing room. “He’s a young lad who loves to laugh and have fun, nothing more. He’s a very good person. Some may think he’s arrogant. It’s something I was asked about in my club and elsewhere. To them, I say ‘Are you crazy ? He’s so nice.’ Of course, he will be a good skipper.”
When asked about Antoine Griezmann’s alleged frustration at being overlooked for the captaincy, the Paris-born centre-back shrugged. “I did not see him sulking at all. Besides, it’s his birthday“, Konaté adds, with the Atlético Madrid man turning 32 today.
GFFN | Bastien Cheval