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FRANCE | REAL MADRID

Deschamps: "Mbappé is going through the same thing as Pogba"

Deschamps: "Mbappé is going through the same thing as Pogba"

Franck Fife

AFP

The France coach has defended Kylian Mbappé against recent criticism, stating that "he is not a robot"; while the player himself refused to comment on the Real Madrid links.

France coach Didier Deschamps has jumped to the defence of Kylian Mbappé after the PSG player was criticised for his recent poor performances against Bolivia and Turkey.

With 33 league goals, Mbappé had another notable season with the Parisian club – despite the collective disappointment over elimination from the Champions League and defeat in the French cup final – and has put himself in the running for this year’s Ballon d’Or.

At the tender age of 20, the Paris-born striker marked his 100th professional goal in France’s 4-0 win over Andorra on Tuesday.

And after the game, Deschamps addressed Mbappé’s critics in the French media following the two previous encounters against Bolivia and Turkey, stating that too much is constantly expected of the young striker.

Kylian Mbappe runs with the ball during the UEFA Euro 2020 qualification football match between Andorra and France.

Deschamps: Mbappé is going through the same as Pogba

“The first one who is angry is him. He doesn’t do it on purpose but he can’t always be at his best,” said the French coach.

“I get the impression that he is going through what Pogba has gone through for months and even years. We expect a lot from him but he has had a long season and during which he has been very successful.

“Saturday he didn’t play well, but the same as the whole team. He always adjusts to our needs. He played on the left [against Andorra] tonight and can play anywhere.”

Mbappé is not a robot - Deschamps

Deschamps went on to praise Mbappé for his attitude and recovering his performance against Andorra, despite his fatigue after a long season with club and country.

“It's good that he was in that state of mind. Not everyone could make up for the match they played against Turkey. He needs a vacation. He is accumulating experience but he is not a robot, he is young,” he explained.

France's head coach Didier Deschamps looks at his players during a training session at the National stadium in Andorra La Vella.

“His attitude is there – his camaraderie with the group. That is the most important thing for me. He has the quality. Sometimes it happens and sometimes not. Today it worked very well.”

Mbappé: “It’s not the time to speak about Real Madrid”

After the French Footballers Association gala a few weeks ago, Mbappé suggested he may be open to leaving Paris, saying: “Maybe I’ll be happy in Paris, but also maybe in a new project somewhere else.”

The 20-year-old has long been linked with Real Madrid. But when asked in the mixed zone following the Andorra game about the reported interest from the La Liga giants, Mbappé refused to comment.

"This is not the time to talk about Real Madrid. You always ask me the same thing, but now is not the time," he said.