An enchanted parenthesis. In view of his performance in the Blue jersey on Thursday against Austria (2-0), this is the impression that Kylian Mbappé gave his evening at the Stade de France. Him, whose start to the season in the Parisian jersey seems to leave him unsatisfied, displayed a broad smile in the mixed zone and (perhaps) sent a few subliminal messages to Christophe Galtier, his coach at PSG.
Thanks to your goal against Austria, you enter the top 10 of the best scorers of the French team…
KYLIAN MBAPPE. Yes I saw that. But I think the most important thing is that Olive’ (Giroud) is closest to Titi (Henry), isn’t it? I still have a long way to go but it will come.
You tried a lot tonight on a personal level…
Yes, on a personal but also collective level. We really didn’t want to lose, really didn’t want to go down to Ligue B, so we settled into the opposing camp to impose our game. We tried a lot in the first period but we lacked realism. We came back with the same intentions and we scored early in the second period. Afterwards, the rhythm went down a bit, but we put the goal of the break and then we managed. I think the audience had a good time anyway.
Did the Blues need to reassure themselves after the sequence of four unsuccessful games in June?
Yes of course, when a team like France does not win for a whole rally, it can cause problems. But we had no doubts, we were sure of our strengths despite the fact that there were a lot of changes in the team. The pool we have is incredible and even if important players are missing, there are players to replace them and they do it well.
What did you think of the performance of Benoit Badiashile and Youssouf Fofana who lost their debut tonight?
It’s great, great! It’s always difficult to enter the international world. Now they are here with us, we are very happy to have them. I think this match will give them a lot of confidence for the future, they can count on us, we are with them.
In your ball shots, you seemed released as rarely since the start of the season…
Because I play differently. I am asked other things here than in the club. I have a lot more freedom here, the coach knows that there is a number 9 like Olive who occupies the defenses. Me, I can walk around, go into space, ask for balloons… In Paris, there isn’t that, it’s different, I’m asked to do the pivot. I’m very happy with today’s game.
Do you have more fun in Blue?
Eh ? (He laughs)… No, I have fun everywhere!
You showed a lot of complicity with Olivier Giroud…
Yes, that’s great. There were some with Antoine too. He was higher up the field, on a three-way effort without being cut off from the rest of the team. We are very happy, now we have to confirm. There is Karim who will also come back, we will see how it will go.
Do you come away frustrated from a match where you have many chances but only score once?
Never frustrated, we always use matches to improve. I will try to arrive ready in Qatar and to perform as well as possible.
How do you manifest yourself with the sequence of matches?
Alright. There, the priority is the selection, I hope I will play on Sunday. After at the club, I am always ready to play. The coach says there’s a rotation, we’ll see how it goes when we get back.
Are you satisfied with the progress of the discussions you have initiated around the convention on image rights?
Yes I’m happy. Afterwards, it’s not me, it’s the whole team who wanted that. But I don’t mind putting myself in the spotlight, even if it means being criticized if it’s beneficial for my teammates. Having me criticize it will not change the way I play or live. If it helps, I’m used to being in the spotlight. But the whole band wanted that and I think everyone is happy to see things changing.