Footage from inside the France changing room during the 2022 World Cup final shows exactly why Kylian Mbappe has been selected as the new captain of the national team.
The French Football Federation (FFF) confirmed on Tuesday that manager Didier Deschamps has named Kylian Mbappe as the new captain of the national side following Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris’ retirement from international football in January.
However, there has been significant backlash against Deschamps’ decision, with many claiming that Mbappe does not have the personality or qualities to be a successful captain.
Backlash to Kylian Mbappe getting France armband
Former France players, such as Arsenal legend Robert Pires, have also questioned Deschamps’ choice, arguing: “A logical choice? Honestly, no. Considering his longevity, what he’s done down the years, I was expecting it to be Griezmann. It’s a lack of respect towards Antoine.”
Pires continued: “We must not forget what Antoine did at the last World Cup, where he was the best and the most consistent [France player].”
The backlash has been harsh against the Paris Saint-Germain forward, who scored two goals in the victorious 2018 World Cup final against Croatia and a hat-trick in the dramatic 2022 World Cup final against Argentina last December. Mbappe was also the top scorer at the last World Cup in Qatar.
And as for those who still believe that, despite Mbappe’s unquestionable individual talents, the 24-year-old does not have the leadership qualities to make a successful captain, a clip from inside the France changing room may change your mind.
Kylian Mbappe at half-time of World Cup final
The clip, as posted to Twitter by @EdmundOris, shows Mbappe’s rousing half-time team talk that inspired his side to overturn a two-goal deficit to force the 2022 World Cup final into extra-time.
Why did they make Mbappe France captain over Griezmann?
World Cup final half time, France losing 2-0.
— Edmund 💉#WFAGP (@EdmundOris) March 23, 2023
Following going into the final with many issues, including a variety of injuries and a sweeping virus, the defending World Cup champions found themselves 2-0 down at half-time following a lackluster performance.
However, it was no other than then just 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe who took on the leadership role of motivating his teammates for a second half, telling his teammates: “We can’t do worse than what we did. We go back on the field, either we let them play or we go in, put some intensity in the duel and do something else guys.”
The France number 10 continued: “It’s a World Cup final. It’s done. They scored two goals, we are down two goals. We can come back. Guys, it’s once every four years!”
If Mbappe’s inspiring half-time team talk doesn’t show leadership, then what does!
Comments to the video praise Mbappe’s leadership qualities, stating: “He gave this talk and came out to score a hat trick, crazy,” and “Mbappe has a fighting spirit, he doesn’t want to lose and am in support of this captaincy, he deserves it we need a fighter to fight for France and age is just a number.”
However, despite the rousing team talk that inspired an incredible Mbappe-led French comeback to force the game to penalties, eventually losing toLionel Messi‘s Argentina, some fans are still not convinced.
Other comments to the clip argue that being the go-to man for team talks or being the best player on the team should not result in automatic captaincy.
It seems as though there will be a lot of proving his worth that Mbappe will have to do in his new role as captain of France, who play the Netherlands at the Stade de France in their opening Euro 2024 qualifier later today.