Didier Deschamps, France’s manager, says Kylian Mbappe plays football “like a steam train” and displayed his quiet leadership traits with the double that advanced France to the World Cup knockout stages.
Les Bleus defeated Denmark 2-1, thanks to a brace from the forward, to advance from Group D after defeating Australia in the opener.
Mbappe, who rose to fame four years ago as the face of France’s World Cup triumph in Russia 2018, is carrying more responsibility heading into Qatar 2022 due to Karim Benzema’s injury.
Deschamps, however, believes that he is not under any additional pressure because he continues to play a crucial role in the national setup regardless of his teammates.
“He’s a leader,” he stated. “I don’t think leadership has one face. Kylian doesn’t speak, he’s not very talkative. However, he’s like a steam train on the pitch. He’s the one that gets the crowd going.
“Kylian’s always got the same responsibility. He knows the French team need him, and we need him to be at his best. The proof is in the pudding from the first two games.”
Mbappe, along with Hugo Lloris, Olivier Giroud, Antoine Griezmann, and Raphael Varane, are the only players with fifty or more caps for the national team in Qatar without Benzema.
Deschamps does not believe that Les Bleus’ squad’s youthful makeup or lack of top-level experience will hinder them, citing their enviable club reputations.
“I have a great pool of players,” he added. “I’m very lucky to be able to fall back on this pool of players.
“Most of them don’t have 50 caps, but they play in the best European clubs, I have a high-quality squad with an excellent mindset.”