Mbappe
Les Bleus

Mbappé: 'We have to win the final'

Publish on 10/10/2021 at 11:09

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Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé will spearhead France's bid to lift the UEFA Nations League trophy for the first time when the world champions take on Spain in the final in Milan on Sunday evening.

SPAIN - FRANCE (kick-off at 18:45 GMT)

Mbappé marked his 50th cap on Thursday night with the equaliser from the penalty spot against Belgium as Les Bleus came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in a thriller. Spain beat Italy 2-1 the previous evening so have had an extra day off to prepare for the prestigious final.

Mbappé: 'Time passes quickly'

Speaking after the semi-final, Mbappé commented: "It was a crazy match. It's good as it gives confidence to the team and the coaching staff. Now there's a final to play and we have to win it. If you do all of that and you don't win then it's frustrating. I love playing in pressure matches, matches everyone watches and everyone wants to play in. I've got 50 caps now and time passes quickly. I hope I'll have a lot more caps and we win a lot more trophies."

France are bedding in the 3-4-1-2 system that brings the best out of the attacking trident of Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann and Karim Benzema. Mbappé netting from the penalty spot against the Belgians helped banish the demons of the shootout miss against Switzerland in the Round of 16 of UEFA EURO 2020.

Real Madrid forward Benzema told M6: "Against Belgium I linked up well with Kylian [Mbappé] as well as with Antoine. When it came to the penalty, we are all takers but I wanted Kylian to score. I collected the ball and gave it to him. What happened at EURO 2020 is in the past. In the semi-final he scored a decisive goal."

Griezmann is in line to win his 100th cap in the final, becoming the ninth Frenchman to reach that landmark. The Atlético forward has already scored 41 times for his country and is only 10 shy of the national record held by Thierry Henry. Griezmann said: "Henry's not far away. It's close but it's not an objective that obsesses me. Ten goals is both a lot and not a lot."

Tchouaméni in?

With Adrien Rabiot having tested positive for coronavirus, Monaco midfielder Aurélien Tchouaméni is set to replace the Juventus player in midfield. Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe could come in on the left side of the three-man defence.

France coach Didier Deschamps said: "Spain have maintained the quality of their play. We have more experience but that gives us no guarantees. We'll need to have all the right ingredients in order to go out there and claim the trophy."

Probable Teams:

Spain: Simon; Azpilicueta, Laporte, Torres, Alonso; Gavi, Busquets, Koke; Sarabia; Torres, Oyarzabal

France: Lloris; Koundé, Varane, Kimpembe; Pavard, Pogba, Tchouaméni, Hernandez; Griezmann; Benzema, Mbappé

>> Tchouaméni 'is no longer the same player'