New France captain Kylian Mbappé (24) has revealed that Antoine Griezmann (32) was disappointed to not have been chosen as Hugo Lloris’ successor.
Mbappé was confirmed as France’s new captain during Didier Deschamps’ interview with TF1 journalist Saber Desfarges on Tuesday. The Paris Saint-Germain forward was the favourite for the role, as exclusively revealed by Get French Football News in February. Griezmann was his closest rival, and although the Atletico Madrid forward missed out, he was still appointed as vice-captain by Deschamps.
Prior to the officialisation of the appointment, L’Équipe reported that Griezmann was considering his international future having missed out on succeeding Lloris as captain of Les Bleus. Speaking in a press conference ahead of Friday’s Euro 2024 qualifier against The Netherlands, Mbappé, in his first conference as France captain, confirmed that Griezmann was disappointed by the decision.
“I spoke with Antoine. He was disappointed and that’s understandable. It’s an expected reaction. I told him that I would have had the same reaction. He is perhaps the most important player during the Deschamps era. I am not his hierarchical superior. He and I will be hand in hand to try to allow his team to impose itself on a global level. If he has something to say to the group, I’ll sit down and listen. You mustn’t shut the door to anyone. Everyone is free to express themselves,” said Mbappé in a conference transcribed by RMC Sport.
Mbappé will captain his first match for Les Bleus when the Netherlands visit the Stade de France on Friday evening.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle