Friday, December 9, 2022

Kylian Mbappé: this (big) responsibility entrusted by Deschamps

It is already far away, this summer of 2021 during which a myth wavered. On June 28 that year, Kylian Mbappé missed his shot on goal in a fatal penalty session for the Blues, eliminated in the round of 16 of the European Nations Championship against Switzerland. A year and a half later, the star striker of PSG intends to forget this bad memory during the World Cup in Qatar and even leave its mark on the competition. In the absence of the Ballon d’Or Karim Benzema, it is now on the shoulders of Mbappé that all the hopes (or almost) of the tricolor attack rest.

Always as lively with the Parisian club since the start of the season, Kylian Mbappé has already scored twelve goals in Ligue 1, seven in the Champions League. And if he is a little less happy with the France team (5 goals last season and difficulties, like the rest of the team, in the League of Nations in the spring and back to school), it is towards him that Didier Deschamps would have turned to when composing the team that will face Australia this Tuesday evening, from 8 p.m. In addition to leading the tricolor offensives, Kylian Mbappé would have been entrusted with the role of taking penalties according to the newspaper L’Equipe.

Mbappé rather than Griezmann or Giroud

Benzema absent, one could have thought of Olivier Giroud or Antoine Griezmann to assume this heavy responsibility, the Mâconais having long been the number 1 French shooter. Didier Deschamps would have decided otherwise. Asked at a press conference on Monday, the coach nevertheless sent the journalists back to the first match of the Blues this evening, with an answer from Normand. “You will see him tomorrow, I hope. It won’t necessarily be him. There are several possibilities with a hierarchy which can be an evolving situation depending on the feelings of the players concerned”, was content to indicate the coach.

At 23 years and despite the trauma of June 2021, Kylian Mbappé, however, has all the assets to assume his role. At PSG, it was he who won the “penaltygate” which pitted him against the Brazilian Neymar for a few days. Since the start of the season, he has nevertheless scored 3 of the 5 penalties taken (including one missed during the famous quarrel with Neymar against Montpellier in August). L’Equipe recalls for its part that Mbappé has managed 11 penalties out of the last 15 attempted.

Supporting stats or not, the native of Bondy asks in any case, despite his young age, to have more responsibilities, at PSG as with the Blues and does not seem scared in the least by this kind of challenge. We will therefore wait to find him alone against an opposing goalkeeper to appreciate his management of pressure in a major international competition.

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