Kylian Mbappe calls his Euro 2024 a ‘failure’ after losing to France

Les Bleus are feeling down after their performance at Euro 2024.

France captain Kylian Mbappé expressed his deep disappointment with his team’s participation in the tournament after being eliminated in the semi-final by Spain in Munich on Tuesday.

“My competition? It was difficult,” Mbappé told reporters, according to ESPN. “It was a failure. We had the ambition to be European champions; I had the ambition to be European champions. We are not, so it is a failure.”

Kylian Mbappé reacts after missing a scoring opportunity during the Euro 2024 semi-final against Spain. AP

Randal Kolo Muani headed in a cross from Mbappe inside the first 10 minutes of the match to give France an early lead over Spain on Tuesday.

Spain responded quickly, however, with goals from young superstar Lamine Yamal, 16, and Dani Olmo, taking a lead in the 25th minute that they would not relinquish.

Mbappé, who helped France win the 2018 World Cup, was expected to lead his country to their fourth European Championship final in Germany.

However, he has scored just one goal – a penalty against Poland – and provided two assists, including Tuesday’s against Muani, at Euro 2024.

The tournament started badly for the Real Madrid forward, breaking his nose in France’s opening match against Austria and missing the following match against the Netherlands.

Kylian Mbappe wears a protective face mask during the UEFA EURO 2024 quarter-final between Portugal and France. UEFA via Getty Images

He refused surgery that would have ended his tournament and returned wearing a mask.

Mbappé complained that the mask was hindering him and threw it off in the semi-final after being hit in the same spot.

“Wearing a mask was not easy for him, it limited his vision and was an inconvenience,” France coach Didier Deschamps said in a press conference after the loss. “There was a medical consultation with the staff and Kylian felt more comfortable without the mask.”

Deschamps became national coach in 2012 and led France to the 2018 World Cup and the 2016 European Championship finals.

France coach Didier Deschamps’ reaction during the UEFA EURO 2024 semi-final against Spain. Getty Images

“I’m not going to pass the buck, I’m the boss and I’m responsible,” Deschamps said.

“It was great because we took the lead, but this Spanish team controls the game so well. In the end we didn’t perform so well. We didn’t manage to play as vertically as I would have liked.

“We persevered until the end. I won’t say my players didn’t give their all. But they didn’t all play at 100 percent of their ability at this European Championship, for different reasons.”

France forward Antoine Griezmann, who was a key member of the 2018 World Cup squad along with Mbappe, also came in for criticism over his performances at Euro 2024.

Deschamps withdrew the 33-year-old, who had failed to score throughout the tournament, from the starting line-up ahead of the decisive semi-final.

Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann react after the UEFA Euro 2024 semi-final loss to Spain. AFP via Getty Images

Midfielder Adrien Rabiot, who was sidelined for the quarter-final against Portugal due to suspension, criticised his team-mate’s performance, according to The Athletic.

“I don’t know how to explain it, maybe he is less physically fit. We expect much more from Antoine because he can do much more,” Rabiot said.

“We can win without Antoine, we have a high-level team. But of course it would be easier if we had Greizmann and Kylian Mbappe at the peak of their powers.”

Mbappe will now make his debut for Real Madrid, the 36-time La Liga champions and 15-time UEFA Champions League title holders, against Real Mallorca on the weekend of August 18 to kick off the season.

“It’s football. We have to move on,” Mbappe said. “It’s been a long year. I’m going to go on holiday and rest — that will do me good, and I’ll try to come back strong.”

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