Euro 2020 starts tonight as Turkey take on Jorginho’s (and Emerson’s) Italy, but there’s already some drama building in the France camp, as one of the pre-tournament favorites are dealing with a few clashes of personality.
It all began after the 3-0 win against Bulgaria on Tuesday, in which France left it late to put their unfancied opposition away. Olivier Giroud, scorer of brace in the final ten minutes that ensured victory, pointed out to the media afterwards that maybe if certain players passed him the ball more often, France could’ve made lighter work of the occasion. Oli didn’t name names, but it was clear he was talking about Kylian Mbappé, who apparently developed an allergy to giving the ball to the Chelsea striker.
“I was a little quiet because, sometimes, I make runs and the balls aren’t forthcoming. I am not saying that I always make the best runs, but I am seeking to offer solutions in the box.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: L’Équipe du Soir via GFFN
France head coach Didier Deschamps, Giroud’s number one fan on most days, tried to play these comments down to keep the peace, but reports the following day claimed that Mbappé was so hurt personally that he wanted to hold a press conference to air his grievances or some such.
Unfortunately, he was dissuaded from doing so, so the popcorn had to be put away.
9 – Kylian Mbappé avec l’équipe de France en 2020/21 :— OptaJean (@OptaJean) June 10, 2021
9 passes échangées avec Olivier Giroud en 349 minutes (4 vers Giroud, 5 en retour)
23 passes échangées avec Karim Benzema en 114 minutes (14 vers Benzema, 9 en retour)
Friture ? https://t.co/YIJ165ZzoI
On Thursday, Giroud apparently tried to clear the air with his much younger teammate, even apologizing for his remarks, but according to RMC (via GFFN), Mbappé wasn’t really acknowledging those efforts and remained in a “moany”, sulky mood. Deschamps has also spoken with both players, before also addressing the entire squad.
So, France are definitely winning this thing, yeah? (Their first game isn’t until Tuesday, when they take on Germany.)