the Mbappé show, “the target” Platini, a tricky match … What to remember from the pre-match press conference

Kylian Mbappé and Didier Deschamps appeared at a press conference on Sunday to discuss the second match of the France team against Ireland on Monday in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

We did not really expect to see Kylian Mbappé arrive at a press conference on Sunday March 26 in the auditorium of the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. The Parisian had warned during his first speech as captain of the Blues, last Thursday: he does not want to draw all the media coverage to him. “Coach wanted me to come today, so I’m here. It’s part of my responsibility as captain,” explained Mbappé.

If the number 10 of the Blues presented himself and answered questions from journalists, it is perhaps to show that the time is not for relaxation, three days after crushing the Netherlands at the Stade de France (4-0) and on the eve of facing Ireland. “Tomorrow’s game will be much more complicated than people may think,” said Mbappe. The French team watched in Clairefontaine the first half of the friendly match won by Ireland against Latvia last week (3-2).

The Blues learned a few lessons from it. “We tend to think of it as a rough team, but it is a team that is actually playful. We must not think that we will have the ball quietly”, described Mbappé. “There will be less fighting, long play and verticality than Ireland did in the past, they can build more on the ground. But the commitment will be very present, especially with the public which pushes well“, warned Didier Deschamps in turn.

The 23 Blues available for Monday

A few minutes after the press conference, the 23 Blues appeared on the lawn of the Aviva Stadium for a fifteen-minute training session open to the media. Everyone will be available for tomorrow’s game and the manager might make some changes. Under the greyness of Dublin, in which the Blues landed this Sunday morning, the latter did some warm-ups before exchanging a few balls. All with a smile.

Because despite the words of prevention from Mbappé and Deschamps, the new generation of the France team is not the type to worry. “My generation is carefree, does not necessarily realize what is at stake every time and that allows them to play high-pressure matches as if they were ordinary matches. The identity of this generation is this desire for greatness, to aim for the heights“, described Mbappé.

Platini, Mbappé’s “next target to shoot down”

The new captain of the Blues is the very symbol of this. Once again very comfortable in front of the journalists, he weighed each word and perfected each intonation. To the point of doing everything himself: to a question in English about the young Irish striker Evan Ferguson, Mbappé answered in English… before performing the answer himself in French, under the eyes of a half-admiring translator half-stunned to see himself temporarily removed from his post.

Author of a double against the Netherlands on Friday, Mbappé is now at 38 goals in the France team. Three units from Michel Platini. A legend that the captain of the Blues sees as “the next target to shoot”. “It’s like that, I continue my way to the top. He’s an absolute legend. Whether I overtake him today or tomorrow, it will remain Michel Platini“, continued Mbappé, who provoked the laughter of his audience in the face of these transgressive remarks. This generation is indeed carefree, ready to roll over the past without feeling to break records. A good omen for Monday’s match against Ireland.

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