Two days after being announced as captain of the French national team to succeed his retired compatriot Hugo Lloris, Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe revealed the way he dealt with his teammate Antoine Griezmann, who was so disappointed with this decision, that he considered retiring internationally, according to French reports.
Mbappe is preparing to put the armband on his arm for the first time, during the match between France and the Netherlands, scheduled for Friday, in the opening round of Group B competitions for qualifying for the European Cup (Euro 2024).
Kylian Mbappe appeared at a pre-match press conference, where he spoke about Griezmann and how he felt the moment he received the news.
"Antoine is disappointed and that's understandable, I would have reacted the same, I spoke to him," Mbappe said.
"He is the most important player of the Deschamps era and I can assure you that we will work together and side by side to take France to the top."
🗣Kylian Mbappé at the press conference :
“I spoke with Griezmann about the captaincy, he was disappointed and frankly it's understandable.. I told him that I am not his superior. We will work hand in hand to try to make this French team reign at European and world level.” pic.twitter.com/xOC905G9Qb
— PSG Chief (@psg_chief) March 23, 2023
The duo had previously led France to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, for the second time in the history of the "Roosters" after 1998.
Touching on the moment he received the news, Mbappe said: "I was very happy when Deschamps told me about it, it's a new responsibility I have to take."
"A good leader is someone who goes towards the team, who unites the players," he added.
France coach Didier Deschamps defended his decision to award the badge to Mbappe, saying Griezmann understood it in the end.
"I can assure you that Antoine is very understanding, he will work alongside Mbappe and will be vice-captain, I think my decision makes sense," said the Roosters.
It is noteworthy that the French Football Federation had renewed Deschamps' contract on the seventh of last January, to extend until the summer of 2026.
Deschamps and his players were unable to retain the World Cup title at Qatar 2022, and achieve it for the third time in the history of France, after losing to Argentina in the final on penalties, after a thrilling match at the Lusail Stadium in Doha.
France will visit Ireland in the second round of Euro 2024 qualifiers on Monday 27 March.