This is the question that torments people’s minds after the retirement of the impeccable Hugo Lloris.
Will Didier Deschamps dare to reinvent himself and entrust the armband to the young jewel of the Blues? The debate is open.
History is on the move, shaking up habits, maddening the caciques. And the France team would be well advised to hang on. The codes have changed and ended the time when the captain’s armband returned to the most experienced, the wisest, the most unifying, the darling of the coach.
From the last World Cup, we also remembered that the captain was not only the emblematic figure, but often the star, the talent, the jewel of his selection. Van Djik (Netherlands), Koulibaly (Senegal), Kane (England), Bale (Wales),
Lewandowski (Poland), Neuer (Germany), Modric (Croatia), Neymar (Brazil), Messi (Argentina), Ronaldo (Portugal)… Thus, the retirement of placid Hugo Lloris reshuffles the cards within the tricolor selection, now decked out with the title of vice-world champion.
History is on the move, we said, and will Didier Deschamps have any other choice than not to offer the armband to the future best player in the world, than not to make him his main relay internally and not only ?
Kylian Mbappé record holder of precocity, spiritual guide of the Coman generation, Dembélé, Nkunku, Kolo Muani, Thuram, has he not already proven that he knows how to show exceptional strength of character? Who better than him embodies this blue Team which will have to reinvent itself to hold its rank with dignity during the next two major events?
Mbappé, who has always paid all of his international bonuses to associations, who was able to challenge Noël Le Graët to win his case over the image rights of the Blues and tackle him severely after his statements on the legend Zidane, who knew how to find the strong and right words at half-time in the final against Argentina to wake up his partners, isn’t he already a de facto captain?
HE DOESN’T NEED IT TO BE A CA
Kylian Mbappé, a leader with the Blues? It’s been almost six years since the kid from Bondy honored the first of his 66 selections for the France team. It was March 25, 2017, against Luxembourg and since then he has scored 36 goals.
Best director of the World Cup in Qatar (8 goals), the most prolific player in Europe in 2022 (56 goals in 56 matches), Mbappé still carried the destinies of France until this final lost against Argentina, s claiming to be THE attacking leader, the one who carries collective destinies and changes the course of matches with the strength of his immense talent. But that, we already knew.
What makes him the natural successor of Hugo Lloris? If we can think that Kylian Mbappé ticks a lot of boxes, we must not underestimate the weight of the armband, nor the major role played by Lloris, a silent personality at first glance (at first glance only) during all these years. to be the guarantor of collective balance, to convey the right messages at the right times and to set an example in all circumstances… There is no question here of saying that Mbappé does not have the shoulders for, just that he has time for it and he doesn’t need it to be an executive. At only 24 years old, he is a planetary icon. The expectations it raises and the responsibilities it assumes are already immense.
Others, moreover, would be just as legitimate. If Antoine Griezmann explained that he was more of an action leader than a vocal one, Raphaël Varane has a profile and a personality that would fit to succeed Lloris. Let’s not forget Paul Pogba, absent through injury in Qatar but whose weight on and off the field with the Blues is not in dispute. And it’s not because Kylian Mbappé showed all his guts by publicly opposing Noël Le Graët after the leader’s inappropriate remarks against Zinédine Zidane, or that he spoke in the locker room at halftime against the Argentines, that he completely extinguished the debate on the subject.
Captain of the Blues, it’s still a little more than that.