Kylian Mbappé admitted that he played his role of match-saving super-sub in the 1-1 UEFA Nations League draw in Austria despite not being 100% fit - and suggested he will be ready to play through the pain to get a win against Croatia at the Stade de France on Monday.
Things haven't been going exactly to plan for Kylian Mbappé, his France squad-mates and coach Didier Deschamps in their Nations League campaign. After starting with a 2-1 defeat to Denmark - in which Mbappé picked up his knee injury - Les Bleus drew with Croatia in Split and are now winless in three matches.
Mbappé to the rescue
It could have been worse, however, had Mbappé not come off the bench to cancel out Andreas Weimann's 37th-minute opener with a superb goal on the counter. Linking up with PSG youth academy graduate Christopher Nkunku, the Parisian held his nerve for a trademark strike (83').
Mbappé then had chance to clinch the match in dramatic fashion, but came up against Austrian 'keeper Patrick Pentz, who somehow managed to get Mbappé's powerful shot onto the cross-bar and spare his side an agonising late defeat (87').
"It's a shame... I tried to fake the goalkeeper, but I didn't angle it enough, and he had the chance to touch it onto the bar," conceded Mbappé before giving a glimpse of the mentality that keeps him at the top of the game. "You should never worry, you should always be proud."
Pentz was at it again minutes later as he denied OM midfielder Mattéo Guendouzi's header from an Mbappé cross (90'+2) and it became clear that it wasn't to be France's night.
'We can push it a bit'
But Mbappé was far from dispirited, preferring to look ahead to Monday's clash with Croatia and suggesting that he will do all he can to take part in the match and help Les Bleus - the reigning National League champions - to get a first win of the campaign.
"We didn't win. We did not get what we were after heading into the game. We will work to try to win on Monday (against Croatia). I'm not 100% fit, but if the coach needs me, I'll be there. After all, it's the last match before the holidays, so we can push it a bit."
The match will be the last official one for Mbappé and the rest of Les Bleus' Ligue 1 Uber Eats representatives before the beginning of the 2022-23 season on the weekend of 6-7 August.