Having lost Karim Benzema to injury, Kylian Mbappe has been urged to step up and use his “aura” to motivate his team.
On Tuesday night, France will face Australia to start their 2022 World Cup campaign, but their talismanic forward Karim Benzema withdrew on Saturday.
Didier Deschamps is working to make Les Bleus the first team since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend the trophy.
However, a string of ailments has derailed his preparations, with Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema the most recent to withdraw due to a thigh injury.
If France wants to win again after a poor Euro, all eyes will be on Paris Saint-Germain starlet Kylian Mbappe, 23, to deliver and add to his 28 goals in 59 appearances.
“He [Mbappe] was young, and he is still young,” Deschamps said of his player. “But it’s clear that he has aged four years since he was in Russia.
At that time, he was crucial to the pitch. He excelled as a footballer in Russia, where he was also quite mature. After the past four years and everything he has experienced, he is much more mature now.
He now enjoys even greater international acclaim and responsibilities. He is capable of standing out from the crowd and succeeding.
His aura is unrivaled. Four years ago, that was the situation, and that is still the situation now. He still relies on his teammates to support him, though, as a team player.
Although he is a member of the team, very few players possess his capacity to make a key play at any time throughout a game.”
France defeated Australia to begin their 2018 campaign, and they will play Australia to open Group D on Tuesday night.
Hugo Lloris, the captain and goalkeeper for Tottenham, thinks Mbappe can help France advance from the group.
Mbappe took the blame when France lost the Euro 2021 last-16 shootout to Switzerland after his game-winning penalty kick was saved.
But Lloris noted that it was challenging to pinpoint Mbappe’s limit when you consider his talent. His capacity is astounding. He is eager to get things done and support the squad.
Deschamps decided not to call up a replacement despite Benzema’s withdrawal due to an injury received during training in Doha.
Anthony Martial of Manchester United was one of his possibilities, but Deschamps and Lloris are confident in their youthful team.
“We want to have an adventure like the World Cup in 2018,” Lloris continued. “We want to feel the highs fully. We will move forward because the team is prepared to take on this challenge. In this World Cup, we want to start off strong.”