“Admiration” for Ronaldo, mask, Griezmann “butchered”… Mbappé’s words before Portugal-France

“Admiration” for Ronaldo, mask, Griezmann “butchered”… Mbappé’s words before Portugal-France
“Admiration” for Ronaldo, mask, Griezmann “butchered”… Mbappé’s words before Portugal-France

The captain of the French team spoke at a press conference on the eve of Portugal-France, Friday, in Hamburg, in the quarter-finals of Euro 2024.

Special envoys to Hamburg

Son admiration pour Cristiano Ronaldo : “Everyone knows the admiration I have always had for him. I know him, we are always in touch, he gives me advice and follows my news. It is an honour to play against him. He will remain a legend of the game but we hope to win and reach the semi-finals. (…) You have to know how to appreciate what he was and what he is but I am not envious, he is a unique player, he has left his mark on football, inspired generations. His CV speaks for itself, he has known how to reinvent himself but I hope he will not be so happy tomorrow and that we will reach the semi-finals. (…) He is unique. There is only one, there will only be one. I will follow my path and I will continue to follow my dream of playing for Real Madrid. I am not going to write the sequel to Ronaldo. Everyone has their own story. I hope to do something unique in Madrid and write my story.”

Read alsoEuro 2024: Quarter-finals to finally launch a hitherto soporific edition?

Eduardo Camavinga potential replacement of Adrien Rabiot, suspended: “They are two different players. It’s more a question for the coach, I don’t know who will play. Cama plays at Real and has shown that he can be important in big matches. He would have the confidence of the group but no matter who plays, we know that they will be at the level.”

Thanks to the mask

Kylian Mbappé

The mask : “I gave my opinion (before the 8th final won 1-0 against Belgium, Editor’s note) on what it represents for me but it’s a chance, I wouldn’t play without it, I have to thank it. My opinion will not change on the mask but thank you again to the mask because I will have the chance to play tomorrow.”

Efficiency : “The Euro is always tight, I’ve always said it’s difficult, there are only great teams. It will be decided by the details, we will have to be efficient in both areas. They have also progressed. Both teams are aiming for the semi-finals. We want to qualify. We will prepare as best we can. There is improvement in training in terms of efficiency and intensity. We are ready and we hope that we will play the match we need to win.”

Being European champion while being so inefficient: “I don’t read the future but we want to be European champions. Our first ambition is to reach the semi-finals. It’s a new stage, a big stage against a great team. And then we’ll tackle the next piece. Before and after, it’s not important, it’s this match that is.”

SEE ALSO – Euro 2024: when the Blues celebrate their qualification for the quarter-finals with Paul Pogba


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With Paul Pogba for example, you just have to run and make a call, he will put the ball at your feet.

Kylian Mbappé

Why it takes less depth: “A striker must adapt to all the situations that arise and to his teammates. Many refer to what I did when I started in the national team. The players are different. With Paul Pogba for example, you just have to run and make a call, he will put the ball at your feet. Today with the players I have, we can play less deep. Now, if there are spaces, I love to rush into them and I am not going to deprive myself of it.”

Read alsoEuro 2024: Camavinga, Fofana, Griezmann… How to replace Rabiot against Portugal?

If he found his legs: “I don’t think I’ve got all my legs back, I’ll need good preparation (which he didn’t have at PSG, Editor’s note). Some (journalists) have been there for a long time and you know that I don’t make excuses. But to be 100%, good, fast and explosive, I need this preparation, I know I’ll be better. But it’s a quarter-final that we’re preparing for and that we want to win. If we can be European champions, we’ll seize the opportunity.”

Portugal’s main threat: “When you play a team like Portugal, it’s very dangerous to single out just one player. The easy thing would be to mention Ronaldo… Rafael Leao is a danger, Bernardo Silva, my teammates at PSG… You have to keep an eye on them all and not fixate on one player, that’s always a mistake.”

Griezmann has been a bit butchered recently, it’s hard, unfair.

Kylian Mbappé

Pepe starts at 41: “It’s never easy to play great players. You have to have a lot of respect for what he’s done throughout his career. Being here, at 41, playing a quarter-final, that’s not insignificant. If he’s here, it’s because he’s unique. It’s an honour and a pleasure to play against him tomorrow. Respect for everything he’s accomplished. Tomorrow, we’re not going to respect him on the pitch, he’s had a great longevity. Hats off to him.”

Read alsoEuro 2024: Quarter-finals to finally launch a hitherto soporific edition?

Antoine Griezmann : “Comfortable on the right? You have to ask him… He’s been a bit butchered recently, it’s hard, unfair, especially since the criticism came mainly from within the country. He’s given a lot for the national team. He’s going through a bit of a tough time, but he should have everyone’s support, the journalists, the people, he has the support of the group in any case. Recognition is important. It’s a shame that he’s had a bad patch and that he’s been thrown out on the street. It hurts me a bit because he’s always given his all for the French team, he’s one of the best of the modern era in the French team. He’s always had the right mindset. We have to support him, he likes to be supported, loved, help him and try to do everything so that he helps us because he’s an important player.”

Comments collected at a press conference

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