Kylian Mbappe: France forward calls Euro 2024 'a failure' after side's semi-final loss


"I dreamt of becoming the champion of Europe, but unfortunately, my attempts were unsuccessful."

This was the direct evaluation made by Kylian Mbappe, the World Cup champion who was supposed to lead France to victory in Germany. The player, who cost £190m, finally achieved his desired transfer to Real Madrid this summer and led a hopeful nation at Euro 2024.

However, Mbappe, who scored three goals in the World Cup final like England's Sir Geoff Hurst, did not perform as well as everyone anticipated in France's disappointing semi-final loss against Spain in Munich.

Following the game, the striker described the competition as a "disappointment". What caused Mbappe to underperform? And why does he seem to have difficulty in the European Championship?

Mbappe shone brightly during the World Cup in Russia in 2018 when he was just a teenager, scoring four goals as France claimed victory for the first time in 20 years.

Afterwards, he managed to score an impressive eight goals during the 2022 competition. This included a hat-trick in the final match, which unfortunately ended in a loss on penalties to Argentina. This achievement allowed him to tie with Pele in having scored a total of 12 goals in World Cup tournaments.

However, Mbappe did not perform well at Euro 2020, and his failure to score in the penalty shootout had consequences as Switzerland eliminated France in the round of 16.

Even though he was expected to perform well in Germany, Mbappe had a tough time and only managed to score a penalty in the 1-1 draw with Poland during the group stage. As a result, France did not secure the top spot and had to face tougher opponents in the knockout rounds.

During the tournament, Mbappe took aim at the goal nine times, but only managed to create three opportunities for his teammates. One of those chances resulted in a fantastic assist for Randal Kolo Muani's first goal against Spain.

"Mbappe gave a great pass - but that was the only moment of skill in the attacking third that France displayed," ex-England defender Rio Ferdinand mentioned on BBC One.

In a game as important as this, that performance falls short. Mbappe will likely feel let down by his tournament showing. It is not up to the usual standard we have been used to seeing from him.

Mbappe performs much better at the World Cup, with an average of 1.11 goals and assists per 90 minutes in 14 games. This is a significant improvement compared to his performance at the Euros, where he only averages 0.32 in nine appearances.

In the semifinal, his important moment came towards the end when he moved inside the Spanish defense, but unfortunately, he leaned back too far and sent his shot flying over the goal.

"That is a goal he has achieved numerous times throughout his career," stated French soccer analyst Julien Laurens during an interview on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Mbappe failed to seize the opportunity and, at the critical moment, France was missing some spark.

Mbappe's performance in the tournament was definitely impacted when he fractured his nose in the closing minutes of their first game against Austria. This injury forced him to sit out the 0-0 tie with the Netherlands before he made a comeback - sporting a protective mask - and scored a goal against Poland.

The mask clearly gave Mbappe some problems, and he was seen fixing it during multiple games, before finally getting rid of it for the Spain match.

When asked if the injury had affected his performance, the 25-year-old replied, "It was a major factor."

Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be. It was either good or it wasn't. In this case, it wasn't good and now we're heading home. It's that straightforward.

Manager Didier Deschamps had previously acknowledged during the tournament that Mbappe's mask was causing some problems, but after the loss on Tuesday night, he mentioned that it was more of a minor annoyance rather than a major issue.

"I won't be favoring one player over another when it comes to assigning responsibilities," he added.

"When you reach the semi-finals and face a Spain team of such high caliber, you need to perform at your highest level, but unfortunately, we did not do so."

What lies ahead for Mbappe now?

After securing the league championship seven times in France with Monaco and Paris St-Germain, he is now setting his sights on winning the Champions League in the upcoming season with his new team in Madrid. He will be joining forces with Jude Bellingham, Vinicius Jr, and Rodrygo to create an impressive attacking lineup.

"I am going on vacation," Mbappe announced.

I'm going to take a break to recharge and then return to work feeling refreshed and ready to tackle new challenges in a different location with a different supervisor.

It's your turn now, Carlo Ancelotti.

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