Les Bleus

Deschamps on Mbappé: 'This is his competition'

Deschamps on Mbappé: 'This is his competition'

Les Bleus
Publish on 11/23 at 10:00 - S. WILLIS


France boss Didier Deschamps was very happy with Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappé after the 23-year-old - now in the top ten of France's all-time goal-scorers - who racked up an assist and a goal as the reigning World Champions beat Australia 4-1 in their Group D opener at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Kylian Mbappé has been in blistering form in Ligue 1 Uber Eats - he currently sits atop the scorers chart with 12 goals in just eight appearances - and, based on his performance in the 4-1 win over Australia on Tuesday, he is having no trouble taking that form onto the world stage.

Although Les Bleus had an early scare when Adelaide United's Craig Goodwin smashed home a shock opener (9'), former PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot soon levelled it up (27') and then combined with Mbappé to put France in front, squaring the ball for Olivier Giroud to score his 50th France goal (32').

Using his head!

Then came a shock moment that few fans of the Boy from Bondy would have expected - he scored with a header! Set up by a magnificent cross from Ousmane Dembélé, Mbappé nodded France's third goal home (68') before teeing up Giroud for his second and France's fourth.

The fact that Mbappé scored with his head wasn't lost on coach Didier Deschamps, doubtless relieved to see his World Champions fire after some stutter steps in the last couple of international breaks.

"Kylian has always dreamt about scoring headers, so if he starts doing that he'll be even more dangerous!" grinned Deschamps. "I knew he would be ready tonight because this is his competition."

Indeed, while Giroud went level with Thierry Henry on 51 France goals, Mbappé moved into the top ten on the country's all-time scoring chart with 29 goals (in 60 matches!). Currently in tenth place, he is just one goal shy of legends Just Fontaine and Jean-Pierre Papin (30 goals) and two behind Zinedine Zidane.

How high can the Boy from Bondy go? Mbappé's next chance to smash/rack up the records comes on Saturday, when Les Bleus do battle with Denmark.

Watch this space...