Reports suggest that Kylian Mbappe was furious with teammate Olivier Giroud after some implied criticism from the Chelsea man.
We asked Louis Gilles of Eurosport France for some expert insight:
Could you explain the Giroud v Mbappe situation. Do they dislike each other?
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Well this is actually the first time we get to hear a bit of 'tension' between those two. The 'feud' - as you mentioned - started when Giroud, after having scored two goals against Bulgaria on Tuesday, answered a question about why his entry had been "discreet" until his goals. He answered : "Sometimes we make the runs, but the balls don't come… You say I haven't been seen much at the start, but maybe we could have found each other a bit more".
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He didn't especially mention Mbappé, but everyone understood who it was meant to. He was probably targeting two opportunities during the second half when Mbappé went for himself while Giroud was offering a solution. But I wouldn't say they 'dislike' each other. Maybe they're not the best buddies in the world, but it has never been shown that they would dislike each other.
During the game, and especially the 2nd half, what was clear was that Giroud's frustration grew as the minutes went and he didn't touch the ball a lot, until his two goals. It could come from the fact that everyone is focused on the trio Griezmann-Benzema-Mbappé since the beginning of this preparation, and sometimes not even considering him as a solid fourth attacking option. That could logically explain his frustration.
Why do you think Mbappe is passing much less to Giroud than Benzema?
Two things. First of all, Benzema moves a lot more than Giroud. He tries to touch the ball, even from a lower position, so it's easier to find him than Giroud, who acts as a solid tower in the opponent's box (and it's also one of Giroud's strengths! His ability to keep the defenders busy on him creates more spaces for Mbappé, but that doesn't count as "passes" between the two players).
I would say that Benzema maybe meets more the way Mbappé likes and wants to play, and so it's more natural they would find each other.
But the second thing, and it was visible during the two first games, is that the French national team is making everything possible for Benzema to be integrated as soon as possible, and to score quickly. It was obvious during the game against Wales, when Griezmann gave the penalty kick to Benzema, and it's also visible through the amount of passes made to Benzema by his teammates.
So to sum up, two things: different style of play, and a willingness to ease Benzema's integration to the group on the pitch.
Are there concerns this could unsettle France? And can Deschamps trust them to play together?
To be seen in the future, but it does not seem like it's the main concern now. Mbappé wanted to talk to the press to explain a bit the situation today, but Deschamps convinced him not to do it, and to stay focused on the opening game vs Germany.
Today in press conference, Paul Pogba said: "There's nothing wrong between Kylian and Olivier, at least not in front of me!"
He then added: "What was said by Olivier was badly relayed. You all know Kylian very well, he can score and make a lot of assists, and he's already doing it. He's an altruist player."
And last but not least, Deschamps is very smart, and will definitely be able to make these two play together. During the practice session today, he made them play in the same team. They combined a lot, and after two goals scored by one on assists of the other, they gave each other a nice hug. Everyone saw it, end of the 'feud.'
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