Kylian Mbappé to miss Netherlands match as he progresses from broken nose

Kylian Mbappé to miss Netherlands match as he progresses from broken nose

Updated Jun. 18, 2024 2:38 p.m. ET

The most famous nose in world soccer was the biggest topic at Euro 2024 again on Tuesday, as French soccer chief Philippe Diallo spelled out his national team's tentative timeline for Kylian Mbappé's return to action.

Diallo suggested to reporters that Mbappé, who broke his nose in a heavy collision with Austria defender Kevin Danso on Monday, would be left out of Friday's clash with the Netherlands in Leipzig as a precaution.

Later, a report by ESPN confirmed the news that Mbappé would miss the game.


Keeping Mbappé on the sideline will give the staff working under head coach Didier Deschamps some time to source and fit a protective mask that the Real Madrid forward could wear in future games. France rounds out its Group D schedule against Poland in Dortmund next Tuesday.

Reports and counter-reports have swirled in Europe ever since Mbappé was taken to a Dusseldorf hospital for X-rays that confirmed the broken nose in the hours following the Austria clash, meaning he did not return to the team's hotel base in Paderborn until after 3 a.m.

Diallo sought to put the speculation to rest, as Mbappé received further evaluation and treatment from team physicians throughout the day on Tuesday. 

Had Mbappé's condition required surgery, the France soccer federation president said, it would have kept the 25-year-old captain out of the remainder of the tournament. As things stand, a number of options are available depending on how he recovers over the coming days.

France's victory in the opening game, putting it already in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stage, also adds extra flexibility.

"Concerning his participation in the rest of the tournament, it is a bit premature to decide that," Diallo told a press conference. "The news coming from the doctors is more positive than not. We are fortunate that he doesn't need surgery, which would rule him out completely for the rest of the tournament.

"The medical staff has tried to limit the consequences of the impact. We will wait and see exactly what happens over the next day or two."

France's all-time leading scorer Olivier Giroud is expected to come into the starting lineup for the Netherlands game, and Giroud admitted the Mbappé injury had left the squad with mixed feelings.

"It is a contrast between the fact that we won a match and that we are a little bit disappointed because of Kylian," Giroud said. "I wish that he recovers as soon as possible."

Defender Jules Kounde added: "He is a very important player, our captain. If we lose Kylian that will make a huge difference for the team."

If France was to beat the Netherlands without Mbappé, which would make the team an overwhelming favorite to top the group, it is hard to imagine he would be unnecessarily risked for the third game.

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Mbappé was at the center of everything during France's 1-0 win against Austria, but was still unable to score in the European Championship for the first time in his career.

His cross set up the only goal when it was deflected into the net by defender Maxi Woeber, but Mbappé spurned a simple second-half chance, before the Danso contact left his nose and jersey bloodied.

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"It does not matter if he is there or not," Netherlands goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen said on Tuesday. "They have a lot of other good forwards and besides them a really good team. But we are not scared of anyone so if he is there or not, it doesn't make any difference."

That might be an optimistic interpretation, given how things went between the two teams when they were paired in the same qualifying group.

Mbappé scored twice against the Dutch in a 4-0 win in Paris, and added two more in a 2-1 victory for France in Amsterdam.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.


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