Mbappe’s Absence Felt in France’s 0-0 Draw at Euro 2024

Mbappe’s Absence Felt in France’s 0-0 Draw at Euro 2024

Kylian Mbappe, the focal point of attention, was a noticeable presence on the bench during France’s Euro 2024 showdown against the Netherlands.

Recovering from a broken nose incurred in the tournament’s opening match, the 25-year-old striker’s emotions were on full display. He appeared frustrated at times, clasped his head in his hands, and frequently rose to cheer on his teammates.

However, his absence on the field was deeply felt as France settled for a goalless draw, missing several critical scoring opportunities.

Despite the scoreless outcome, France’s head coach Didier Deschamps remained unfazed by the situation. “I’m not worried,” Deschamps commented on the team’s failure to score without Mbappe. “This is football. Sometimes you have numerous chances but can’t convert, and other times, you score effortlessly.”

Deschamps stressed the importance of capitalizing on opportunities in top-tier football. “My concern would arise if we weren’t creating chances. Efficiency is key, and it’s an area we can certainly work on.”

Although France boasts a roster packed with talent, their performance without Mbappe raises concerns. Over the past two years, the team has failed to win any of the seven games where Mbappe was not in the starting lineup, recording five draws and two losses.

Even with these challenges, France is on the brink of securing a spot in the knockout stage. A draw in their final Group D match against Poland will ensure their advancement to the last 16. Nevertheless, their struggles in front of goal are evident, with just one goal scored across their two tournament matches.

Netherlands’ coach Ronald Koeman likely breathed a sigh of relief seeing Mbappe on the sidelines. In their qualifying matches, France had dominated both encounters, with Mbappe scoring four of their six goals.

Koeman acknowledged the difference Mbappe’s absence made, saying, “Facing France without Mbappe is a different scenario for both teams. We’re talking about one of the best players in Europe and possibly the world, so his absence changes things significantly.”

Deschamps, however, took a long-term view, opting to rest Mbappe just four days after his injury. Mbappe had participated in training with a protective mask, and Deschamps indicated that his recovery was progressing well.

Reflecting on his decision, Deschamps said, “Had it been a decisive game, I might have made a different choice. But it’s crucial to consider his health. He has a bruise, needs a mask that could affect his vision, and there’s the risk of aggravating the injury. With each day, he gets closer to full fitness, and I believed the wiser move was to keep him on the bench.”

France aims to have their star striker back to peak form as they look to advance further in Euro 2024, recognizing that Mbappe’s return could be the key to unlocking their scoring potential and ensuring their success in the tournament.