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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 July 2024

Euro 2024: Mbappe 'better', France stay upbeat over captain's availability for next match

'A fractured nose isn’t the end of the world,' midfielder Adrien Rabiot said on Wednesday through a translator at a news conference in Paderborn, where France is training, 'and Kylian should be with us pretty soon'

Our Bureau And Agencies Paderborn (Germany) Published 20.06.24, 06:13 AM
France have made no announcement on Mbappe's availability for their next match against the Netherlands on Friday but the diagnosis is fairly encouraging from two of his teammates.

France have made no announcement on Mbappe's availability for their next match against the Netherlands on Friday but the diagnosis is fairly encouraging from two of his teammates. File picture

The world of football is waiting to discover how long France superstar and captain Kylian Mbappe will be out of Euro 2024 after breaking his nose.

France have made no announcement on his availability for their next match against the Netherlands on Friday but the diagnosis is fairly encouraging from two of his teammates.

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“A fractured nose isn’t the end of the world,” midfielder Adrien Rabiot said on Wednesday through a translator at a news conference in Paderborn, where France is training, “and Kylian should be with us pretty soon”.

William Saliba said he spoke to Mbappe and the striker was feeling a “bit better” ahead of undergoing more tests on the nose injury sustained in the Group D opener against Austria, which France won 1-0 on Monday.

“I met him this morning, he was a little better. He had gone to do other tests. I don’t know more. But when I saw him this morning, he was better,” defender Saliba told reporters.

Rabiot highlighted the example of his Juventus teammate Wojciech Szczesny, the Poland goalkeeper who also suffered a broken nose in April.

“I don’t know exactly if it’s the same as Kylian. He had surgery and was available for the following match,” Rabiot recalled. “That’s why when they told me about Kylian’s nose being broken, in my head it wasn’t so serious, because I told myself that he could be available quite quickly.”

But if Mbappe does not make it, Rabiot said France would still be confident of their chances against the Dutch, who won against Poland in Hamburg on Sunday.

“Of course, he’s a very important player and that will inevitably have an impact, particularly on the preparation of opposing teams, but we have an exceptional group,” insisted the midfielder.

“On the bench, we have more than enough means to replace Kylian. I have complete confidence.”

Olivier Giroud and Randal Kolo Muani are the options to come in for Mbappe, who was nominally a centre forward against Austria but was given the licence to roam to the left or right. It was from the right wing where he played in the cross for the only goal — a header into his own net by Maximilian Wober.

Reuters & AP/PTI

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