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SportsEuro 2024: 'I failed' - Mbappé on France exit


Euro 2024: ‘I failed’ – Mbappé on France exit


Kylian Mbappé has admitted that his Euro 2024 campaign was a disappointment after France’s 2-1 semifinal loss to Spain at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday.

Mbappé assisted Randal Kolo Muani for France’s early lead in Munich, but Spain turned the match around with goals from Lamine Yamal and Dani Olmo, securing their spot in the final against either England or the Netherlands in Berlin on Sunday.

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The Real Madrid forward concluded the tournament with just one goal, a penalty against Poland in the group stage, across five appearances.

“My competition? It was difficult,” Mbappé told reporters. “It was a failure. We had the ambition to be European champions; I had the ambition to be European champion. We aren’t that, so it’s a failure.

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“It’s football. We have to move on. It’s been a long year. I’m going to go on holiday and get some rest — that’ll do me a lot of good, and I’ll try and come back strongly.”

Kylian Mbappé faced a challenging start to his tournament at Euro 2024 after breaking his nose in France’s opening match against Austria.

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This injury sidelined him for the subsequent match against the Netherlands, but he returned wearing a protective mask in games against Poland, Belgium, and Portugal. However, due to discomfort with the mask, he opted not to wear it in the match against Spain.

Despite his efforts, Kylian Mbappé struggled to meet expectations for France at Euro 2024.

“Wearing a mask was not easy for him, it restricted his vision and was an inconvenience,” France coach Didier Deschamps explained in a news conference after the loss.

“There was a medical consultation with the staff and Kylian felt more at ease without the mask.”

Without Mbappé on song, France struggled to fire at Euro 2024. Kolo Muani’s opener against Spain was the first goal scored by a French player from open play at the tournament after two own goals and a penalty.

As well as Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann has also been criticised, with the Atlético Madrid forward dropped from the starting lineup against Spain.

“I am not going to pass on the responsibility, I am in charge and I am responsible,” Deschamps said when asked about the performances of Mbappé and Griezmann.

“We were facing a Spain side with such quality. Even though Antoine didn’t start, Kylian did and we tried to do our best with what we had. And we tried to be as efficient as possible.

“It was great because we took the lead, but this Spanish side masters the game so well. We didn’t perform so well in the end. We didn’t manage to play as vertically as I would have wished.

“We did push until the end. I will not say that my players did not give their all. But they did not all play at 100% of their capacity in this Euros for several reasons.”

Didier Deschamps, who has been at the helm of the French national team since 2012, has achieved significant success, guiding them to two World Cup finals — winning one — and a European Championship final. With two years remaining on his contract, Deschamps is expected to lead Les Bleus into the 2026 World Cup in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud appears to have concluded his international career after declaring his intention to retire from international football following the Euros. The striker, who recently moved from AC Milan to Los Angeles FC, made a brief appearance in the match against Spain but was unable to add to his impressive record of 57 goals in 137 appearances for France.

“He is disappointed like all the players,” Deschamps said of Giroud, who will turn 38 in September and made his international debut in 2011.

“Olivier was here from the beginning [of my time] and he’s the last one from first match we had. There have been some difficult periods, periods where he has not been as efficient. But he is an example of longevity, seriousness and professionalism.

“He has had less playing time this Euro compared to initial discussions, but he is a leader in this group even if he is not always on pitch. It would have been better to finish on Sunday, but we want to say to him, Well done and thank you.”

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