Kylian Mbappé: ‘My competition was a failure.’

Kylian Mbappé (25) didn’t approach Euro 2024 in optimal form and he never really got going, netting just once, from the penalty spot, against Poland.

The France captain was rested during Les Bleus’ final warm-up game, against Canada, and those doubts about his fitness followed him throughout the tournament. Prior to France’s Euro 2024 opener against Austria, he gave a cryptic response regarding his fitness but one that left no room for doubt – he was not at 100%.

“My physical [preparedness] isn’t the most important thing. The more important thing is to be mentally ready,” he said on the eve of France’s opener. The broken nose that he suffered during that game against Austria, and the fallout from that collision with Kevin Danso, somewhat diluted the issue that nonetheless remained present.

No, I don’t think I have my legs fully. I think I need a good pre-season to be at 100%,” he said ahead of the semi-final against Portugal. His lack of fitness played a part, as did the issues caused by the mask, which was not worn during the 2-1 semi-final defeat to Spain. Le Parisien also cited the ongoing political turmoil in France, as well as his turbulent final season at Paris Saint-Germain as mitigating factors for his underperformance.

Following France’s elimination at the hands of Spain, Mbappé did not shirk responsibility. “My competition? It was difficult. It was a failure. We had the ambition to be European champions; I had the ambition to be European Champion. We aren’t that, so it’s a failure. It’s football. We have to move on. It’s been a long year. I’m going to go on holiday and get some rest – that’ll do me a lot of good and I’ll try and come back very strongly,” he said when passing through the mixed zone.

It is expected that he will be presented as a Real Madrid player later this month. After a difficult season for club and country, Mbappé will be looking to turn the page.

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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