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Deschamps praises Mbappe influence on France squad

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By Martin Graham | 28th Nov 2022

France manager Didier Deschamps has lavished praise on Kylian Mbappe after his two-goal man of the match performance helped France to qualify for the round of 16.

Les Bleus are now the first side to make it to the next round after brushing Denmark aside in a keenly and tightly contested game in the 2022 FIFA World Cup group stages. Two wins out of two gives them the six points they need for qualification and puts them one step closer to successfully defending the title they won in 2018.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward scored his second and third goals of the tournament to help France fight back to beat Denmark, who have been a thorn in their side in the past few years. He is now joint top-scorer of the tournament and France manager Didier Deschamps is in awe of his talent.

“He’s a leader,” Deschamps stated. “I don’t think leadership has one face. Kylian doesn’t speak, he’s not very talkative. However, he’s like a steam train on the pitch. He’s the one that gets the crowd going.

“Kylian’s always got the same responsibility. He knows the French team need him, and we need him to be at his best. The proof is in the pudding from the first two games.”

The myriad of injuries suffered by some key figures for the two-time winners made fans worry. 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema got rules out of the tournament on the eve of the opening ceremony, following Christopher Nkunku, who suffered an injury in the first training session they had after they landed in Qatar.

Lucas Hernandez’s tournament ended 11 minutes into the first game, and Deschamps is going to be playing the tournament with a depleted squad.

Mbappe, however, is covering all the bases and giving the 54-year-old less cause for concern. He also praised the rest of the team for standing up to their responsibility despite their youth and inexperience.

“I have a great pool of players,” he added. “I’m very lucky to be able to fall back on this pool of players.

“Most of them don’t have 50 caps, but they play in the best European clubs, I have a high-quality squad with an excellent mindset.”

France will now play for bragging rights against Tunisia next Wednesday. They are currently the only team on two wins and will be looking to make it three from three and set the pace for their title defence.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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