Netherlands: the Blues dream of winning, guided by their new captain Kylian Mbappé
Cyrille de la Morinerie
7:16 p.m., March 24, 2023
It’s back to school for the Blues. Three months after the World Cup final lost to Argentina, France faces the Netherlands this Friday evening in a match counting for the Euro 2024 qualifiers, in a Stade de France which will be full, with nearly 80,000 spectators. It is against the Dutch team, heavyweight and main rival of France in group B, which also includes Ireland, Greece and Gibraltar, that the adventure starts at 8 p.m. this Friday, on Europe 1 .
For the occasion, a new captain has arrived: Kylian Mbappé, who at 24, succeeds Hugo Lloris.
No superiority between Mbappé and Griezmann
Didier Deschamps made this proposal to him last Monday at Clairefontaine. The world champion has agreed to take over from Hugo Lloris, who wore the armband for almost a decade. The Paris Saint-Germain striker was preferred to the older and more experienced Antoine Griezmann, with 117 caps. But no question for the young player from Bondy, to consider himself above his elder.
“When I’m captain, and he’s vice-captain, I’m not his superior. He has experience in the France team that I don’t have. For example, when I was in a training center, he was already there. In addition, Antoine Griezmann, he is someone who is presented and loved by the whole group. And of course that we will be, him and I, hand in hand to try to make this team reign. France at the European level, at the global level”, explains Kylian Mbappé in front of the journalists.
“We have to bounce back”
In the goals, there too a page turns, since the spectators will find Mike Maignan. Blues who will try to forget the disappointment of the World Cup final by projecting themselves towards the Euro, beating this Friday evening if possible, the quarter-finalist of the World Cup.
“You have to bounce back in terms of performance, but I believe that Didier also questioned himself, the group too”, explains at the microphone of Europe 1, the 98 world champion Christian Karembeu. And to add: “I believe that they will move forward. There are new faces who have arrived so I hope that we will be ready for the next deadlines.”
And glorious veterans will be honored during the match, since Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Raphaël Varane, Blaise Matuidi will be at the Stade de France. On the other hand, Karim Benzema declined the invitation when he saw a letter to the Federation.