Mbappe struggles with broken nose and face mask, says Deschamps

Mbappe struggles with broken nose and face mask, says Deschamps

France head coach Didier Deschamps has admitted that his star man Kylian Mbappe has been ‘slightly off his game’ this European Championship. 

The revelation comes a day before France face current tournament favourites Spain in the semi-final. 

New Real Madrid star Mbappe asked to be substituted against Portugal and was visibly labouring in an uncharacteristically poor performance before France won the quarter-final penalty shoot-out. He asked to be removed from the game during extra-time due to fatigue with just 10 minutes to play.

‘He came off [against Portugal] after 110 minutes because the extra-time was tough for him, like it was tough for everyone. Kylian had a back issue at the end of the season – and then he took that blow to his nose.

‘So he has been slightly off his game – but he will be on the pitch and we have done everything we can to make sure Kylian is in the right headspace for this game,’ Deschamps explained.

Kylian Mbappe ices his broken nose as he is subbed off after his latest lacklustre performance

Deschamps admitted that Mbappe 'has been slightly off his game as a result of his injuries

Deschamps admitted that Mbappe ‘has been slightly off his game as a result of his injuries

Mbappe has worn a custom protective mask since his nose was broken in a clash with Austrian defender Kevin Danso while the two fought to win a header in the group stage. 

But it seems he hasn’t taken too well to his new headgear.

‘For Kylian it is a new situation with the mask. He has a field of vision that is modified. It has been a huge shock for him,’ Deschamps said.

He added: ‘He [Mbappe] has had to get used to that because he will need to wear the mask for the next few weeks or even months.’

The 25-year-old, who hails from Bondy, in northern Paris, has had a torrid European Championship so far.

He has scored just once, from the penalty spot against Poland in the group stage, despite taking 20 shots, most of which have been either blocked or off target. And he was largely ineffective against Portugal as Joao Cancelo shut him down, before being outshone by livewire replacement Ousmane Dembele.

The lack of attacking impetus from Mbappe has reflected Deschamps’ team’s lack of creativity with the side scoring just three goals in five games and none from open play. 

Unused substitute Olivier Giroud helps Mbappe as the Real Madrid man goes down in pain against Portugal not long before he is taken off - Mbappe has scored  just one tournament goal

Unused substitute Olivier Giroud helps Mbappe as the Real Madrid man goes down in pain against Portugal not long before he is taken off – Mbappe has scored  just one tournament goal

Deschamps insisted that he is doing everything he can to get Mbappe into the right headspace

Deschamps insisted that he is doing everything he can to get Mbappe into the right headspace

Deschamps responded forcefully to questioning of his side's attacking performances at the Euros, telling a Swedish journalist: 'If you are bored watching France then don’t watch us'

Deschamps responded forcefully to questioning of his side’s attacking performances at the Euros, telling a Swedish journalist: ‘If you are bored watching France then don’t watch us’

When Deschamps, formerly a pugnacious defensive midfielder, was challenged by a Swedish journalist over his side’s poor attacking showing, Les Bleus’ coach retorted: ‘If you are bored watching France then don’t watch us. Go and watch another game. You don’t have to watch France, it’s fine.

‘Look, this tournament has been difficult for everyone up to now. It is not the same as the past. But we do have the chance to make a lot of French men and women happy after what has been a difficult period for our country.

‘If people are bored watching us play, it doesn’t bother me too much.’

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