Kylian Mbappe was named as the new captain by Didier Deschamps, which was a letdown for France veteran Antoine Griezmann
Kylian Mbappe has disclosed that Antoine Griezmann was unhappy with not being chosen as the captain of the French national team, but stressed that he does not consider himself to be superior to any other player on the squad.
On Tuesday, the head coach of France, Didier Deschamps, announced that Mbappe will take over the captaincy from Hugo Lloris, who retired from international football in January. Meanwhile, Griezmann was designated as Mbappe’s deputy.
Kylian Mbappe, who has won 66 caps for France, has been named as the new captain of the national team by coach Didier Deschamps, replacing retired Hugo Lloris. Antoine Griezmann, who has 117 caps, was named as Mbappe’s deputy.
Although Mbappe insisted he is not superior to any other player in the squad, it was reported that Griezmann was disappointed by the decision and believed he was better suited to the role.
Despite Griezmann being eight years Mbappe’s senior, the PSG forward was selected for the captaincy.
“I spoke with Antoine. He was disappointed and it’s understandable,” Mbappe said at a press conference on Thursday. “I told him that I would have had the same reaction.
“He is perhaps the player who has been the most important in the Deschamps era. But I am not his superior. We will be hand in hand, he and I, to try to make this French team reign at world level.
“If he has something to say in front of the group, I will sit down and listen. We must not close the door to anyone. Everyone is free to express themselves.”
Mbappe calls Griezmann the ‘most important’ Deschamps-era player
Kylian Mbappe will lead the French team for the first time in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier against the Netherlands at the Stade de France. France coach Didier Deschamps named Mbappe as the new captain, citing his qualities as a leader.
Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann was named as Mbappe’s deputy. Despite reports of Griezmann being disappointed with the decision, Deschamps said that Griezmann is more than willing to play his part.
“I had discussions [with Griezmann], but I will not go into details,” he told reporters. “I can assure you that Antoine, since Monday, has been smiling.
“That he was disappointed at the time, it is legitimate. But that stopped there.
“From what I see, everyone has the same objective in relation to the group. Antoine is vice-captain; he has an important role as he always had.”
Mbappe, who has captained PSG at times, stated that he does not think the added responsibility will change his style of play on the field.
“I’m not going to change,” he said. “I will always do what my coach asks me. A good captain is someone focused on the team, who is able to unite.
“It’s beyond cool. I’m captain of my country. It’s a new responsibility for me which I will assume naturally. It won’t change the way I play, but maybe the way I behave.”