EURO 2024 QUALIFIERS
Kylian Mbappé pre-match quotes before Euro 2024 qualifier versus Ireland
The Frenchman praised Ireland’s young, in-form forward who he says is an “important” player.
PSG and France forward Kylian Mbappé spoke to the press before the game against Ireland, where he talked about the young striker for the Boys in Green, Evan Ferguson, who is lighting up both domestically and internationally.
Les Bleus beat the Netherlands 4-0 in their first game of the qualifiers, putting to bed any doubts as to whether the World Cup final heartbreak may have affected them, as the rumours have seemed to indicate over the past week. Mbappé himself got two goals while the others came from Griezmann and Upamecano.
‘If Griezmann has something to say, I’ll listen’
Mbappé turned the noise down regarding any potential rift in the camp between him and Griezmann, who was the favourite to get the captain’s armband after Lloris and Varane both retired.
“I spoke with Antoine, Mbappé said. “He was disappointed and that’s understandable. I told him I’d have had the same reaction. He’s perhaps the most important player in the Deschamps era. He has the experience. If he has something to say, I’ll sit down and listen.”
‘There is a new Ireland generation; Ferguson poses a threat’ - Deschamps
Evan Ferguson has burst onto the scene in the Premier League this season, scoring 7 goals for Brighton and Hove Albion. France manager Didier Deschamps highlighted the importance of Ferguson and the threats that Ireland carry as a team: “there is a new Ireland generation now with new players.
“Ferguson poses a threat, a good player, he continued, “Johnston as well has joined the team. It is a mix of young and experienced players. Ireland are known for being direct and vertical in how they play but from what I’ve seen in recent games they are capable of playing the ball along the ground as well.”
‘I hope tomorrow is not good for Ferguson’ say Mbappé
For Ireland, Ferguson made his first senior appearance in a 3-2 friendly win over Latvia, in which he got the second goal for Stephen Kenny’s side, causing Mbappé to also take notice of the 18-year-old. “We saw some clips of him, he’s a good striker and an important player”, said the France captain, “it’s his first season as a striker, an important striker for their team. But we hope tomorrow that it is not good for him and we will win. We want to do a good job but he is a good player.”
Ireland manager Stephen Kenny was not getting drawn into conclusions ahead of the game, saying: “I’m not being deliberately evasive but it’s impossible to know what constitutes a good result. We just have to get ourselves ready for Monday as that’s the big game for us. We want to be in control of our destiny. That’s our main objective.”
Ireland host France at the AVIVA Stadium on Monday 27 March at 2:45 p.m. ET.
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