All Eyes on Mbappe as France Aims for Euro 2024 Glory

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France enters Euro 2024 as the top contender, with much depending on Kylian Mbappe’s performance. The star forward’s future with Paris Saint-Germain and a potential move to Real Madrid has dominated headlines, but France coach Didier Deschamps remains confident in his captain’s focus and commitment.

Mbappe’s recent form with PSG was underwhelming, yet he still netted 44 goals this season. Deschamps, speaking at Clairefontaine, emphasized Mbappe’s dedication to the national team. “Kylian sees himself as part of a collective,” Deschamps said. “He has responsibilities with his club and even more with France.”

Mbappe boasts an impressive 46 goals in 77 appearances for France, including a hat-trick in the 2022 World Cup final against Argentina. However, his last Euro outing in 2020 was disappointing. He failed to score, and France exited in the round of 16 after he missed the decisive penalty against Switzerland.

Reflecting on past Euros, Deschamps acknowledged the pressure. “I haven’t won the Euros as a coach, but many haven’t,” he told AFP. “The demands are high because we’ve made significant progress. After the World Cup, the Euros are the next big challenge.”

France breezed through qualifying, securing seven wins before drawing with Greece after clinching their spot in the finals. However, recent friendly performances have been shaky. They lost 2-0 to Germany and struggled to a 3-2 win against Chile.

The team’s lineup has evolved since the Qatar World Cup. Hugo Lloris and Raphael Varane have retired, while Olivier Giroud, at 37, may see less action. Marcus Thuram is poised to lead the attack, and Deschamps hopes Aurelien Tchouameni recovers from his foot injury. The coach recalled N’Golo Kante, now in Saudi Arabia, to bolster the midfield alongside Antoine Griezmann.

France faces a challenging Group D with the Netherlands, Austria, and Poland. “We are favourites, but we need to prove it on the pitch,” noted Griezmann. Deschamps cautioned against looking too far ahead. “The Euros are tough, with eight of the top 10 teams in the world involved.”

As Euro 2024 approaches, all eyes will be on Mbappe and whether he can lead France to victory and cement his legacy on the European stage.

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