World Cup – Kylian Mbappé, leader of the Blues in his own way

When you ask Didier Deschamps what he thinks of Kylian Mbappé, the answer is not invariable. But not far. On Sunday, he again started his answer with his famous “Kylian, it’s Kylian…” We can see where the Blues boss is coming from and what he means. However, Kylian is no longer quite Kylian. At least since 2018. Or even since 2021. Because the Paris Saint-Germain striker has grown well and with the growth has also changed.

If he leads his men on the pitch, he does not limit his influence to his left side and it is not only quantified by his number of goals scored, although he already has a bucketful on the clock. On Sunday, having imposed a “silenzio stampa” since the start of the competition, he found his voice. Named player of the match for the third time since the start of the World Cup, the Blues forward had so far refused to comment. FIFA cracked down. So he promised to pay the fines. And finally spoke in a press conference after the game.

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“For the journalists who are there, it was nothing personal, I have nothing against journalists. It’s just that I always have this need to focus on the competition, he justified himself. When I want to focus on something, I have to do it 100%, not waste energy elsewhere. (…) This WC is an obsession. It’s the competition of my dreams, I have the chance to play it, I built my season on this competition, be it physically or mentally.”

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On the Golfen’s lawns, it appears as the nose in the middle of the face. The Paris Saint-Germain striker rains and shines on the game of the Blues. One statistic, just one: 5 goals after four games. And a title as top scorer in the World Cup, which is already reaching him. But it is not only that. Especially not that. Kylian from 2018 has grown well, the one in 2021 has changed a lot. And that changes everything. “In 2018 it wasn’t the same player or the same personality as today, decrypts Antoine Griezmann, who saw him grow with him. We see him much more in the group, with his joie de vivre. It is important to us. His every gesture is scrutinized by reporters, fans and his teammates. He is undisputed.”

He is one of the leaders

Nature doesn’t like a vacuum, and without the especially solar Paul Pogba, the Blues lost a leader before flying to the World Cup. Kylian Mbappé does not follow in the footsteps of “la Pioche” because he does not have the same personality as him, or as the other leaders of the France team. Less vocal, more divisive, sometimes more brittle, the Paris Saint-Germain forward nevertheless counterbalances his personal demands and, for others, by increased closeness to his partners. And that changes a lot of things compared to the Euro, where he got lost in a personal quest and was ultimately unfulfilled. Unfortunately for the French team. And His.

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“Kylian has developed tremendously, raphaël Varane abounds. He started very strong very early, he continues on his momentum and keeps his head on his shoulders. He knows where he wants to go.” And with whom. The newcomers to the group, who did not participate in the EC, at least approve of the method. “On the pitch he is exceptional and of course he is part of the leadersrecognizes Mattéo Guendouzi without difficulty. He takes on a lot of responsibility on the pitch, but off the pitch he is very simple.” Marcus Thuram, he is no more surprised than that. “The first time I saw Kylian was at INF Clairefontaine. He was a ‘first year’ while I was second. Even then we knew he had something special. Since then he has not ceased to amaze me But what I love about him is that he hasn’t changed, he’s still the same person who loves football. a pleasure to have him in the team.”

We see it all year round at PSG, especially since its extension, we also saw it during the upheaval of the review of the image rights agreement with the Blues, which he led, Mbappé has the shoulders and no problem with the pressure. On the contrary, the kid from Bondy is looking for it and always asking for more. So if Didier Deschamps assured before the opener against Australia that his number 10 had “ripened” but had no “no more internal responsibility”, its growing stature is palpable. And from that determination, capable of blowing up the Argentine defense with bursts, he has become the Blues’ ultimate spearhead. In the field. And more and more aside. “Kylian, it’s Kylian”, as DD says. Yes, but it’s a little more than that now.

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