Tuesday , July 23 2024


French forward Kylian Mbappe has admitted that his Euro 2024 was “a failure” after France suffered a semi-final defeat at the hands of Spain.


Mbappe only scored one goal in the tournament with a penalty against Poland in the group stage. Plagued by a broken nose and poor form, the new Real Madrid signing failed to light up the international stage as he has done before.

Kylian Mbappe has admitted that his European Championships were “a failure” after France were eliminated by Spain 2-1 in the semi-finals.
Mbappe, who will soon join up with new club Real Madrid after his country’s exit, scored only one goal at this year’s tournament – a penalty in France’s 1-1 group stage draw with Poland.
“In football you’re good or not good. I wasn’t good,” Mbappe told reporters after the game.
“My Euro was a failure. I wanted to be European champion… I will now go on holiday, I will rest well, it will do me a lot of good, then I will get ready to start a new life. There’s a lot to do.”
The Mbappe that lit up international tournaments in recent years was nowhere to be seen this summer. His talent was shrouded in an inept French forward line and conservative tactics, while a broken nose and protective mask hid the infectious emotion he so often displays.
As Mbappe faded, Spanish starlet Lamine Yamal illuminated. He scored a beautiful curling effort to equalise for Spain after Randal Kolo Muani’s opener, and Dani Olmo’s winner came minutes later.
“I don’t know,” Mbappe said when asked if France were stunned by Spain’s two goals. “We opened the scoring, we told ourselves that we were doing the hardest part but maybe unconsciously we backed down a bit more.
“We put in less panache, less punch and we conceded two goals in quick succession. Afterwards, we tried to get the machine going again but it wasn’t enough. The result is what it is and that means we didn’t do enough to get to the final.”
The forward had a glorious chance to send the tie to extra time but blazed his shot well over the bar.
“I think I have to score, at least get it on target,” he said about his late miss. “It goes over the bar and that’s the harsh reality of football. The mask? I was fed up, I couldn’t see well with it. I spoke to the doctor to see and he told me to make the decision like a man and I don’t regret it.”
The future of head coach Didier Deschamps, who has taken charge of the side for 12 years, is now in question.
The 55-year-old was quick to make sure that blame for the team’s performances lies with him, and not his players.
“I don’t want to put the responsibility on one or the other. It’s mine,” Mbappe added. “Their end of the season was difficult, Kylian had a trauma. Even if we reached the semi-finals against a Spain with this quality, we have to be at our best. In the end, we were below. I’m not going to make excuses, but we started the preparation with neither Adrien [Rabiot] nor Aurelien [Tchouameni].”
Despite Kylian’s broken nose, he elected not to wear the mask for the Spain game, a decision which Deschamps explained after the game.
“Wearing the mask caused him more inconvenience than anything else, especially in his vision,” he said. “The medical staff considered that the solidification was sufficient. He felt better without the mask.”
Deschamps’ contract runs through to June 2026 but the side’s lacklustre displays this summer may have the French Football Federation rethinking that decision. When asked if he is looking ahead to the 2026 World Cup, he gave a prickly response.
“Ask my president,” he replied. “We just lost a semi-final. I will not answer that today. You know very well what my president thinks.”
Deschamps admitted that Spain were the “superior” side on Tuesday night as La Roja exerted the control that has eluded Les Bleus throughout their campaign.
“They’re a very good team, we knew that, even if we were lucky enough to open the score,” the manager said. “They were superior in their control, even if we tried until the end. They’re the team that had left the best impression so far and they showed it again tonight.
“We perhaps had a little less juice, freshness, which led to too much technical waste in the construction of the game. We knew very well that anything that involved balls behind would quickly lead to pressure, we didn’t move forward enough.”
Like Mbappe, France striker Antoine Griezmann struggled to find form during the tournament, and the Atletico Madrid forward agreed that Spain were the better side.
“We’re all angry, sad, it’s a blow to the back of the head. I think they were better than us,” he said. The regrets are in relation to the first 20 minutes when we were on top. They equalised with a long-range shot.
“We knew they were shooting a lot from outside the box, we knew he [Yamal] was left-footed. They scored a second time four minutes later and it hurt us.
“Defensively we were very good throughout the Euro and, offensively, we missed too many chances, it hurt us. The bench? That’s how it is. That’s the life of a footballer. Others haven’t played a minute, I’m not the one who’s going to complain.”




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