Didier Deschamps says Antoine Griezmann’s frustration at not being spotted as France captain Kylian Mbappé “lasted two minutes”.
In fact, it took Mbappe less than two minutes to provide an assist to Griezmann to put France on the path to a 4-0 victory over the Netherlands on Friday and kick off the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign at the Stade de France strong.
Deschamps announced Mbappe, who also scored twice after Dayot Upamecano scored, as his new captain ahead of Griezmann, but said in the post-match press conference that there was no problem between the two.
“Fortunately, I do not know what they say and write. The two get along well, they work well and they have the same goal of getting good results for the French team,” he said.
“Antoine’s disappointment lasted two minutes. There is not the slightest problem, as is the whole group. Everyone was charged with positive emotions.”
— Equip de France (@equipedefrance) March 24, 2023
Mbappe scored in the 88th minute, although the Netherlands converted a penalty in stoppage time, but Mike Meignan saved Depay from Memphis.
While Mbappé replaced Hugo Lloris as captain after his retirement, Meignan was playing his first game since being confirmed as Lloris’ replacement as France’s new main goalkeeper, a decision Deschamps had no doubts about.
“This is Mike. I didn’t have to ask myself that question,” he said. “He was injured, but whether it was his qualities as a goalkeeper or his mentality… full confidence. It went very well for him. Mike has everything to take on [from Lloris]”.
France took a 3-0 lead after just 21 minutes, having not led this early in a game since they beat Luxembourg 8-0 in December 1953, and were already 2-0 up by the 10th minute.
“I don’t know [if it was a perfect evening]But [it was] a very good evening,” Deschamps said. “The start was very good, productive… In the second half we did well, continuing to act dangerously. The fact that Mike stopped the penalty at the end ended the evening well.”
Deschamps also said there could be changes in Monday’s Group B second leg away to Ireland, adding: “We have one more fight to go.”