Sport

PSG star Mbappe speaks on quitting France duty

French President Emmanuel Macron reveals talking to Mbappe before PSG decision

Kylian Mbappe has denied that he was on the verge of leaving France due to criticism of his Euro 2020 performances, revealing that it was racist abuse that nearly forced him to leave Les Bleus.

Mbappe was angry and did not want to play for his country again, according to French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet, who spoke to Le Journal du Dimanche.

Last year’s competition saw the 23-year-old fail to score in any of his four appearances, with France being eliminated in the last 16 by Switzerland.

Following a 3-3 draw after extra time, Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe missed the decisive spot-kick, and the reigning world champions were shocked to lose on penalties.

Mbappe responded to Le Graet’s comments by saying on Twitter: “Yes, however, I explained to him clearly that it was in relation to racism and NOT to the penalty. But he considered that there had been no racism…”

As the young figurehead of the France team, Mbappe faced stiff criticism as he struggled to make an impact on the tournament.

Le Graet said in Sunday’s newspaper interview: “I met with him after the Euros. He felt that the federation had not defended him after his missed penalty and the criticism he faced on the networks.

“We met for five minutes in my office. He was angry, he didn’t want to play for the French team anymore – which he obviously didn’t mean.

“You know how it is; he’s a winner, he was very frustrated, like all of us, by the elimination. He’s so media-friendly. He’s a great guy.”

Since last year’s disappointing Euro 2020 performance, Mbappe has played nine more times for France, helping his country qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. In 57 senior appearances for his country, he has 27 goals.

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