Mbappe is new France captain

"Kylian ticks all the boxes to have this responsibility. On the pitch as well as within the squad, by being a key element."

Kylian Mbappe celebrating his second goal for France against Poland

Paris St-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe has been appointed France captain to succeed Hugo Lloris, the French football federation (FFF) said on Monday.

French media reported that Mbappe had accepted the captaincy after speaking with coach Didier Deschamps.

“Didier Deschamps has named Kylian Mbappe the new captain of Les Bleus. Antoine Griezmann is the vice-captain,” the FFF said on Twitter.

“Kylian meets all the requirements to have this responsibility. On the field as in the life of the group, by being a unifying element,” Deschamps was quoted as saying.

Mbappe, 24, had been touted as one of the candidates for the role since goalkeeper Lloris retired from international football in January.

This had come weeks after leading France to a second straight FIFA World Cup final, where they were beaten by Argentina.

Mbappe has been capped 66 times and played a key role in their successful 2018 World Cup campaign as well as their runners-up finish in 2022.

France take on the Netherlands at the Stade de France in their first Euro 2024 qualifier on Friday, before travelling to Ireland next Monday.

Speaking to French outlet Telefoot, Deschamps said: “Kylian Mbappe is the new France captain. Antoine Griezmann is the vice-captain.

“Kylian ticks all the boxes to have this responsibility. On the pitch as well as within the squad, by being a key element.”

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Mbappe, who has 66 caps and 36 goals for France, is taking over the captaincy from Hugo Lloris who retired from international football after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

According to sources, Deschamps had a discussion with Mbappe on Monday at Clairefontaine, the France team training centre. He also spoke with Griezmann, who was the other candidate for the armband. The head coach had made his mind up already and announced the news to his squad on Monday evening.

Mbappe will become one of the youngest France captains ever and will follow in the footsteps of Lloris who kept the armband for 14 years from 2008 to 2022.

Deschamps said during his news conference on Monday that the main quality in his choice was “legitimacy” and that “the common interest will prevail.” Deschamps added that he could feel that Mbappe has stepped up in his leadership since the World Cup.

Mbappe, who has already worn the armband for Les Bleus once, halfway through the game against Denmark in September, will start his new captaincy era on Friday against the Netherlands at the Stade de France in a qualifying match for the 2024 European Championship. They then visit Ireland in Dublin three days later.

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