Premier League

Why Kylian Mbappe was substituted during France’s Euro 2024 win against Portugal

Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud

France manager Didier Deschamps admitted he decided to substitute Kylian Mbappe during their Euro 2024 quarter-final win against Portugal as his captain was tired and still struggling with a broken nose.

Les Bleus advanced to the semi-finals of this summer’s European Championships with a 5-3 penalty shootout victory over the Selecao at the end of a 0-0 draw.

French talisman Mbappe was hooked at half-time of extra-time and replaced by Bradley Barcola, returning to the bench and appearing in serious discomfort.

The 25-year-old has played France’s last three games with a protective mask after breaking his nose in their opening 1-0 win against Austria in the group stage, and he took a blow to the face during Friday’s encounter with Portugal. He also had been nursing a back problem before the start of Euro 2024.

Kylian Mbappe, Olivier Giroud

The ball struck Mbappe’s face while he tried to defend a corner / Dan Mullan/GettyImages

At his post-match press conference, Deschamps revealed Mbappe has been through a lot of physical ‘trauma’ of late, hence the decision to bring him off.

“He was tired,” Deschamps said of Mbappe. “He is always very honest with me and the team, when he feels he doesn’t have the capacity to accelerate. We cannot lose a player but with everything that has happened, the trouble with his back and the trauma with his nose, he is there. He is not in his top form but, with his efforts, he felt very tired.”

France have somehow managed to reach the semi-finals of Euro 2024 without scoring from open play all tournament. Their only two goals to this point have come via an own goal and a penalty from Mbappe.

Deschamps, notorious for implementing a cautious playing style, conceded his side must start scoring if they are to be crowned champions of Europe.

“We need to score more goals,” he added. “When you score more goals, you can manage things. [Otherwise] we are at the mercy of our opponent.”

France are back in action on Tuesday for their semi-final with Spain in Munich.

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