Kylian Mbappé has been appointed captain of the France team by coach Didier Deschamps to replace Hugo Lloris, who has retired internationally, we learned Monday, March 20 from a source close to the Blues, confirming information from Le Figaro and L'Equipe.

At 24, Mbappe (66 caps, 36 goals) accepted this new function after a discussion Monday night with his coach, we learned from the same source. Deschamps also spoke with Antoine Griezmann, promoted to vice-captain in place of Raphael Varane, who also retired from international football after the 2022 World Cup.

The Paris SG striker, whose first selection in blue dates back to March 2017, will play his first match as captain on Friday (20:45) against the Netherlands at the Stade de France in the opening of the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Anticipated for several weeks

2018 world champion and 2022 world vice-champion, Mbappé was approached for several weeks to inherit the armband, after guiding the Blues to their second consecutive final in Qatar in December.

The Parisian, technical leader and whose voice carries more and more in the dressing room, scored a hat-trick against Argentina in the final and succeeded in his penalty shootout, without managing to offer a third world title to the Tricolores (3-3, 4-2 t.a.b.). He has also gained importance in group life, reviving in 2022 the issue of the right to the collective image, which he wants to see reformed.

On the first day of the rally Monday, Didier Deschamps had left the suspense on the identity of the future captain, assuring in a press conference in the early afternoon that he intended to "use these first days to discuss with the players concerned". The discussions were finally held Monday evening at the Clairefontaine training center.

Mbappe has the daunting task of replacing Hugo Lloris, who held the armband for more than a decade, for the first time in 2010. The latter, Deschamps' confidant, had broad responsibilities, including representing the Blues at the Federation or with the media. He went to a press conference on the eve of each match he played as a starter.

In his club, Mbappé is one of the vice-captains behind the N.1 wearer of the armband, the Brazilian Marquinhos. Sunday during the defeat of PSG against Rennes (2-0), he was for example captain in the absence of the latter.

With AFP

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