"I spoke with Antoine. He was disappointed and frankly it's understandable and normal. In his place, I would have had the same reaction. He was perhaps the most important player of the Didier Deschamps era. But I will not be his hierarchical superior, "said the successor of Hugo Lloris, on the eve of the match of the Blues against the Netherlands at the Stade de France counting for the qualifications for Euro-2024.

With the international retirement of Lloris, record holder of the number of caps in the France team (145), and that of his vice-captain Raphaël Varane, the names of Mbappé (24) and Griezmann (32) stood out to occupy the position of captain. Deschamps decided from the beginning of this first meeting since the World Cup-2022 by preferring the striker of PSG, despite the past in blue of Griezmann, whose first of 117 selections dates back to 2014.

"Antoine is esteemed and loved by the whole group, it would be a shame not to enjoy his experience. We will be hand in hand to win this team of France, "added Mbappe who said he wanted to be a captain "unifying" and "turned towards the team".

Deschamps said Griezmann's "disappointment at the time" was "legitimate". But according to the boss of the vice-champions of the world, the player of Atletico Madrid is "radiant" and "resplendent" since the beginning of the gathering, while the daily L'Equipe had expressed Wednesday the questions of Griezmann on the rest of his international career since the announcement of the choice of the new captain.


© 2023 AFP