Euro 2024 should've belonged to Mbappé, but he, France failed


Julien Laurens, a reporter, posted a blog on Jul 10, 2024, at 01:36 AM.

MUNICH – After a long wait, his opportunity finally came in the 86th minute. He had been anticipating it throughout the entire game and even throughout the entire tournament.

Kylian Mbappé is sprinting towards substitute defender Dani Vivian, one-on-one, with plenty of space ahead of him. France is behind 2-1 but has dominated the second half, with Spain only managing to touch the ball in the opposition's box once. This is Mbappé's opportunity to equalize the score in the Euro 2024 semifinal and potentially force the game into extra time.

Out of all the players on the field, Les Bleus prefer to have Mbappé in possession. You can be certain that he will score. His moves are predictable: he will sprint, fake to his right to create space, and then shoot towards the near post.

The person from Paris has successfully completed this specific goal many times throughout their life. This is their expertise, it's where they excel. They operate like a well-oiled machine in this situation.

He chose not to wear the mask to protect his broken nose from the first match of the Euros in France. After talking to the team doctor, he decided to take that risk and not wear the mask.

"After the match, Mbappé told ESPN that he had reached a breaking point. His vision was compromised, but he has no regrets about his decision. The doctor advised him to make a tough choice, and he did so confidently."

Without his mask, he appears free.

The pass he made for Randal Kolo Muani's early goal showed his skill right from the start of the game. He hasn't been as involved since then, but now he has a chance to make a big impact. He's been doing everything a player in his position should, but surprisingly, his shot goes way off target.

"I feel like I need to make a goal, or at least get a shot on target, but it goes too high," Mbappé told ESPN. "That's just the harsh truth of the game."

He appears sincerely troubled by the miss. It was undeniably a pivotal moment in the competition and stands out as a significant moment in this European Championship.

It was expected that this tournament would belong to him. He was seen as the main player, the top player in the world leading up to it. He was supposed to shine as the top scorer, the standout player of the tournament.

And unfortunately, he was not successful. France will be returning home after being defeated by Spain with a score of 2-1 on Tuesday.

Mbappé quickly achieved several things during his time in Germany: scoring a goal (from a penalty), providing an assist, delivering a cross that resulted in an own goal, getting a broken nose, and feeling like he wasn't fully healthy and didn't quite click with the French team.

He couldn't shake the feeling that this competition would always come with a lingering question mark. The way his nose got injured definitely shifted things. He worried he might have to leave the team after the altercation with Kevin Danso. Thankfully, he didn't need surgery and could stay on the team, but he never quite got used to wearing the mask.

The reason France didn't succeed in Euro 2024 isn't because of Mbappé's mask. The real reason for France's failure in Euro 2024 was his lackluster performance throughout the tournament.

"I really wanted to become a European champion, I really wanted to have a successful Euros, but unfortunately, I didn't achieve either goal," he stated. "I'm feeling disappointed. Right now, I need to take a vacation and get some much-needed rest. It's important for me to recharge and come back rejuvenated for the upcoming season."

Throughout his career, he hasn't had much success in the European competitions, but he always performs well in the World Cup. In 2021, he found it challenging to compete on the continent, but in 2024, it was a complete disaster.

During his initial big competition as captain of France, Mbappé had the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Michel Platini and Zinedine Zidane, previous Euro-winning No. 10s, and achieve victory in the continental championship himself. He imagined being the ruler of Europe after already achieving success on the world stage in 2018.

There were indications that his dream may not come true. The latter part of his time at Paris Saint-Germain was troublesome. He only played in half of the games and lost a lot of momentum and form that he couldn't fully regain in Germany.

"My team was not in top physical condition," France coach Didier Deschamps stated following the game on Tuesday. "In order to defeat such a talented Spain team, you need to be performing at your highest level."

Deschamps did not specifically name Mbappé, but it was clear who he was talking about.

France did not play well on Tuesday, and Mbappé did not perform at his usual high level. Throughout the tournament, France has shown that they rely heavily on Mbappé to succeed.

He will need to wait four more years before trying again. When the next opportunity comes around, he will be 29 years old. This summer was his best chance to win the European championship, so Euro 2028 might be his final shot.

Read more
Similar news