Euro 2020 (round of 16). France – Switzerland, Monday (9 p.m.), in Bucharest (Romania)
Let’s clear up the misunderstanding right away: Kylian Mbappé is French, so much the better for the Blues and too bad for their opponents. Karim Benzema is the finisher of the France team, Antoine Griezmann the playing master and Mbappé the first danger. A first danger that has not yet scored at Euro 2020 despite several opportunities, but which continues to scare defenders.
“I will need a little help,” smiles Silvan Widmer, the Swiss right-back who will be stuck with the Parisian’s mark in the round of 16. We will have to defend two on him. Alone, it will be complicated … “
Checked by the keepers and the Var
The defender of FC Basel said out loud what the audience at the Munich and Budapest stadiums whispered quietly with each Mbappé ball catch. A breath of worry. Something often happens for the defenders when he accelerates (ask the Argentines for the 2018 version or the Barcelona version 2021), but, at the Euro, the goalkeepers sleep soundly. If the German Neuer was saved by the Var, the Hungarian Gulacsi and the Portuguese Rui Patricio did not have to leave the stop of the year to defeat Mbappé.
Scorer and passer in Germany, canceled for offside, passer for Griezmann in Hungary, at the origin of the (generous) penalty against Portugal. It remains decisive. His record of the first round at the World Cup in Russia was not more buoyant – a ball extended in the net against Peru – before accelerating the pace from the round of 16, including an anthology performance against Argentina .
Three years later, we expect more. Much more. “In 2018, it was my first competition, it was time to confirm, to set foot in the big world. Since then, I’ve had three full seasons, I’ve won a lot of collective and individual titles, ”he himself admitted before the Euro.
Obsession with the goal, obsession with playing with Benzema
The level of requirement is higher, and nobody (starting with him, the first annoyed) can not be satisfied with a desert of four games without scoring, with a goal in his last nine selections… Didier Deschamps defended him in March, recalling that the greatest French talent of the last fifteen years is “not a robot”. But there is something stereotypical about his current game.
The obsession with the goal and the stat line, which makes him forget Giroud in the center against Hungary. The obsession with combining with his buddy Benzema, wanted 12 times out of his 25 assists in Munich. Mbappé is the Blue who (by far) makes the fewest passes and the Euro player who tries the most dribbles. It is his style, that he does not distort. But his room for improvement lies there, in this ability to purify his game, just from time to time, and to be more efficient beyond the borders of Ligue 1.
He remains the player who instills fear in the opponent – “For Switzerland, it will be hot to control him,” said the fatalist former Swiss striker Stéphane Chapuisat – and the French player who arouses the admiration of his peers. “I love watching Mbappé play so much. So incredibly good, ”salivates former England center forward Gary Lineker on Twitter. Mbappé is a player apart. The only striker that Deschamps never leaves. Scorer or not.
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