FRANCE BOSS DIDIER DESCHAMPS AIMS SUBTLE DIG AT KYLIAN MBAPPE AFTER EURO 2024 EXIT

France boss Didier Deschamps admitted his players "didn't play as well as we could" and that captain Kylian Mbappe "didn't perform as well as he usually does" after their Euro 2024 exit.

France entered the tournament as favourites, but put in a series of lacklustre performances and scored just one goal from open play. They were beaten 2-1 by Spain in the semi-finals, with goals from Lamine Yamal and Dani Olmo earning Luis de la Fuente's side a spot in Sunday's final.

Mbappe in particular has struggled to make the kind of impact many expected, with the Real Madrid forward seemingly hampered after breaking his nose in France's opener against Austria.

Speaking after the loss to Spain, Deschamps bemoaned his team's performances in Germany and specifically namechecked Mbappe. "I will not say my players didn't give their all, but we didn't play as well as we could for various reasons," he said.

"Kylian didn't perform as well as he usually does. I'm not making excuses. We tried to do our best with what we had and tried to be as efficient as possible." Deschamps also hit back at questions over his future, insisting it was not the right time.

"I've just lost a semi-final so don't ask me that question," he said. "Ask the president of the FA. I won't answer the question. Maybe you shouldn't have even asked it."

However, a number of pundits have also questioned Deschamps' future, with Micah Richards stating that France played "horribly" throughout the tournament and Alan Shearer lambasting their "frustrating" attacking play.

"I just want to ask about the overall picture, for Deschamps and what it means for him," Richards said on BBC One. "We have never questioned France before because they have got over the line. But they are playing horribly and they haven't won so where do they go from here? They need a structure, they need a balance."

Shearer then added: "We kept on saying that we were waiting for them to click. Once that happened today for the very first time, where there was a good ball in and someone was actually on the end of it, we were thinking 'here we go'

"They had the advantage of scoring that goal. I was thinking that might just give them the confidence to go on and do what we thought they might do in front of goal. So many times they were getting into good positions."

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2024-07-09T23:23:50Z dg43tfdfdgfd