Didier Deschamps: “Giving Mbappé the armband is not taking it away from Griezmann.”

Speaking in an interview with Tout le Sport on France 3, France manager Didier Deschamps was asked to comment on his decision to make 24-year-old attacker Kylian Mbappé the new captain instead of Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann.

“He [Mbappé] ticked all the boxes to be it at some point. It is natural and logical that Kylian is made captain, especially from the point where he also wants it.”

Deschamps was then asked if Mbappé – at his tender age – has the capacity to bring a squad together:

“He has already been doing this. It is not a question of whether the task is too great, it is about whether you have broad enough shoulders to take it on, but we have no worries around that with him.”

Deschamps was then asked if there was any element of disappointment on the part of Griezmann, who was the other individual that the France boss seriously considered to take on the responsibility.

“He knew very well that he had the possibility of being it (captain). I spoke with him, but despite it all giving it to Kylian is not taking it away from Antoine. Antoine, he has something additional as well, he has always been a very important player, I have always kept my confidence in him during much more difficult periods for him. Antoine, with what he does on the pitch, he is a key pillar in the sense of being the motor. He was and he will remain so in the future.”

Antoine Griezmann has in the meantime been appointed as the vice-captain. The 32-year-old will be counted on for the EURO 2024 adventure by Deschamps. The duo were all-smiles together in a training session open to media at the French national team base in Clairefontaine on Tuesday.

Mbappé’s first game as France captain will be on Friday in a EURO 2024 qualifier at home vs the Netherlands.

James Thorpe | GFFN

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