Les Bleus

Mbappé: 'I play differently'

Mbappé: 'I play differently'

Les Bleus
Publish on 09/23 at 10:30

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PSG superstar Kylian Mbappé was a happy man after scoring in Les Bleus' much-needed 2-0 UEFA Nations League win over Austria, noting the importance of the result and the resolution of the image rights brouhaha as well as discussing the differences between playing for club and country.

France, who had to get a win to have a hope of avoiding relegation to League B, struggled to break Austria down in the first half - despite a number of chances - but Mbappé set the World Champions on track early in the second when he danced past most of the visiting defence before lashing home (56').

Olivier Giroud killed the game off nine minutes later when he headed home Antoine Griezmann's looping cross (65') and now Didier Deschamps' men can turn their attentions to Sunday's crunch clash with group leaders Denmark, when victory will once again be the only way to avoid relegation.

After the game, Mbappé fronted the press and spoke at length. Excerpts.

What did you think of the game?
"We really didn't want to lose and go down in this B league. We really wanted to get into the opponent's half, to impose our game. We tried a lot, and we were not very sharp either. But we scored early in the second half, then we scored the second goal and coasted bit if I'm honest. But I think the fans had a good time."

Did you also need to reassure yourselves?
"Of course I did. When you don't win during a whole camp with France [which was the case for the last two international breaks], it's complicated, but we didn't doubt ourselves. We know our strengths, even with many changes in the team. We have an incredible pool of players."

It looked like you felt very free tonight...
"I play differently. I'm asked to do different things here than at my club. I have much more freedom here. The coach knows that there is a number 9 like Oliv' who keeps the defences busy so I can move around and get into space. With Paris, it's different, it's not like that. I'm asked to play more of a pivoting role, it's different."

Is it more enjoyable here?
"[Smiles] I always enjoy playing football."

Things are pretty busy right now. How are you feeling physically?
"I feel very good. The priority is the national team. I hope I'll play on Sunday. I'm always ready to play, even at club level. The coach says there will be rotation at the club, so we'll see how it goes."

Are you happy with the image rights agreement?
"Yes. It wasn't me who reached the agreements. The whole team wanted it. That said, I don't mind being in the spotlight if it's good for my teammates. Being criticised won't change my way of playing or of living. If it's good for the squad, I don't mind. I think the whole squad is happy."