In a recent interview with French newspaper L’Équipe, Didier Deschamps, the French national team coach, shed light on various topics, including the future of Kylian Mbappé. After weeks of silence and speculation, Deschamps openly discussed the situation surrounding the talented forward, who had been subject to rumors of a potential departure from Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) throughout the summer.
Deschamps, who himself recently extended his contract until 2026, expressed his relief and satisfaction that the situation has been resolved. He highlighted the positive impact of this resolution not only for the French national team but also for Mbappé, PSG, and all parties involved.
When asked about the possibility of leaving Mbappé out of the national team squad in September, Deschamps dismissed any doubts and affirmed that the young striker would undoubtedly be included. He emphasized that while competition for places in the squad is fierce, they would have tried to find alternative solutions to ensure Mbappé’s presence, even if he had not been playing for PSG in August.
Deschamps clarified that he did not personally contact either PSG or Mbappé during the summer transfer window, as he believes it is not his role to interfere in players’ career decisions. However, he did mention having conversations with Mbappé, just as he does with other players, offering his opinion only when requested.
When questioned about the risks Mbappé took to achieve his objectives, Deschamps acknowledged that they had discussions but made it a point to understand the full extent of the situation. He recognized that not playing would have been an unimaginable scenario for Mbappé, as playing the sport he loves is priceless to him. Deschamps also praised Mbappé’s ability to contribute to the team, highlighting his natural talent and ambition, which has already propelled him to great success at such a young age.
Reflecting on Mbappé’s role as captain, Deschamps commended his leadership qualities and his seamless integration within the team. He emphasized that Mbappé possesses the necessary legitimacy to bridge the gap between the more experienced players and the younger ones. Deschamps revealed that he has had numerous discussions with Mbappé, and now, even more so since he has taken on the responsibility of being captain.
Deschamps addressed the challenge for Mbappé to balance his individual aspirations with the collective goals of the team. While acknowledging that ego is a natural trait for a forward, Deschamps emphasized that Mbappé is anything but selfish. He described him as a team player who can make a difference individually but never neglects his teammates. Deschamps recognized Mbappé’s ambition and drive to achieve more, which is only logical given his remarkable journey with the French national team. He highlighted Mbappé’s ability to embrace his new responsibilities without feeling burdened, as it further strengthens the team as a whole.
Regarding Mbappé’s participation in the upcoming Olympic Games and the Euro 2024, Deschamps stated that the final decision rests with the club presidents. While acknowledging the significance of both events, Deschamps expressed his hope that a situation similar to 2021, where Sylvain Ripoll, the French Olympic team coach, faced difficulties due to club restrictions, would not occur again. He expressed his desire for Thierry Henry, who will be leading the French national team at the Olympics, to have the best possible squad. However, Deschamps acknowledged that predicting the outcome at this stage would be nothing more than a fantasy.
Didier Deschamps’ interview shed light on various aspects of Kylian Mbappé’s situation. The resolution of the uncertainties surrounding his future is a positive development for all parties involved. Mbappé’s unwavering nerves and determination have been evident throughout this period, and he continues to be an invaluable asset to both PSG and the French national team. As the season progresses, it will be fascinating to witness Mbappé’s continued growth and success, both individually and as a team player.