Kylian Mbappé named as sub, won't start for France vs. Netherlands

Kylian Mbappé named as sub, won't start for France vs. Netherlands

Updated Jun. 21, 2024 2:00 p.m. ET

Kylian Mbappé was named as a substitute by head coach Didier Deschamps ahead of France's Euro 2024 clash with the Netherlands on Friday (3 p.m. ET on FOX).

France national team chiefs were pleased with the superstar forward's progress since he sustained a broken nose during the team's opening game of the tournament on Monday.

However, after a late evaluation, it was decided not to risk team captain Mbappé in the starting lineup, even though he trained with the group for the past two days and was spotted wearing a protective mask in the red, white and blue colors of the French national flag.


If Mbappé plays any part off the bench, that specific mask is not eligible to be used as it flouts UEFA's "single color" restriction for such items, but Deschamps' staff have a variety of alternatives for the player to choose from, some of which were presented for approval to UEFA officials in a pre-game technical meeting.

The team announcement around 75 minutes before kickoff ended an ongoing mystery about Mbappe's availability ever since he was injured in the 1-0 victory over Austria.

Mbappé's friend and colleague Antoine Griezmann was present at the press conference typically reserved for the captain the day before Friday's match, and was indeed named as skipper. Griezmann will occupy Mbappe's preferred role on the left, with Aurelien Tchouameni coming into the XI and Marcus Thuram moving higher up.

"Kylian is doing very well, although his nose is a little swollen," Griezmann told reporters. "We will leave it until the last minute depending on how he feels.

"I don't know whether he will play, but he is one of the best players in the world, whether you have him or not makes a huge difference."

France went into Friday's clash locked in a battle with the Dutch to top Group D. It beat the Netherlands twice during the qualification process.

Mbappé's injury in Dusseldorf was sustained when he went for a header and his face collided with the shoulder of Austria defender Kevin Danso.

UEFA Euro 2024 Day Four Recap: Mbappé injured vs. Austria

Coach Deschamps had struck a positive tone on Thursday, following initial fears that Mbappé might need surgery or be absent for multiple games.

"I can confirm that Kylian Mbappé is feeling better and all is evolving well to see him available tomorrow," Deschamps said. "It's moving in the right direction."

Mbappé was spotted at France training repeatedly knocking on the mask with his knuckles, presumably to test what level of pain was caused by any impact.

Mbappé's value to the team has been proven beyond a doubt, as was highlighted most prominently by his extraordinary hat trick as France lost to Argentina in a penalty shootout in the final of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

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


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