Kylian Mbappe has broken his long-held silence on the faceoff between him and Antoine Griezmann over France captaincy badge.
Recall France senior men’s national team was in search of a new captain after 36-year-old Hugo Lloris hung the boots, retiring from France national team after the 2022 World Cup.
Kylian Mbappe was appointed the next captain with national team veterans like Raphael Varane and Lloris off the scene.
Meanwhile, Antoine Griezmann, 32, is still active and has not reined in his football boots. He was the team’s vice-captain under Hugo Lloris and had hoped to be lined up as the next in command after Lloris exited the stage.
However, in a shock move by French boss, Didier Deschamps, the captaincy badge was flipped over Antoine Griezmann and given to Kylian Mbappe.
Meanwhile, before the confirmation of the next captain of Les Bleus, news was flying around in French media outlets that Mbappe is Didier Deschamps favored man to take up the role over his rival Antoine Griezmann.
In February, the captaincy tussle was settled on the papers with French media concluding Antoine Griezmann will be overstepped despite his previous role as vice-captain and experience with France national team.
On Tuesday, Didier Deschamps finally dropped the bombshell in an interview with French outlet Saba Desfarges confirming Kylian Mbappe as France national team captain.
Antoine Griezmann still retained the vice-captaincy badge in Didier Deschamps’s new national team nomenclature.
Despite being retained as Les Bleus national team captain, L’Equipe reported the Atletico Madrid star is considering his international future after being snubbed by Didier Deschamps in the captaincy role for France national team.
Kylian Mbappe confirms Antoine Griezmann’s disappointment on captaincy decision
Speaking in a pre-match press conference ahead of France Euro 2024 qualifiers against Netherlands, Kylian Mbappe said he has spoken with Antoine Griezmann after the captaincy decision by Didier Deschamps.
According to him, Antoine Griezmann was disappointed not to step into the shoes of Hugo Lloris as vice-captain.
The PSG forward added he understands Antoine Griezmann’s grievances and the fact that he is his superior with more years of experience with the national team.
Nevertheless, he urged the France compatriot not to shut the door to everyone but join hands to build the team.
“I spoke with Antoine. He was disappointed and that’s understandable. It’s an expected reaction”, Mbappe said.
“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.” (quote translated by RMC Sport)
Antoine Griezmann made his France national debut in 2014. He has won 117 caps with the team, scoring 42 goals.
Kylian Mbappe made his France national team debut in 2017 and has made 66 appearances for the team, scoring 36 goals.
Both players were part of the Didier Deschamps squad that won the 2018 World Cup, won UEFA Nations League in 2021, and reached the final of the 2022 World Cup.
Between Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann who would you prefer as new France captain and why?