France labour and wait for second phase at Euro 2024 as Germany and Spain shine

What is it with the captains of French national teams and their faces? Rugby darling Antoine Dupont had his angular visage smashed up during the World Cup last year but defied the medical predictions about his fractured cheekbone to come back valiantly and lead his muscular troops to an agonising defeat to South Africa in the quarter-finals.

Fast forward eight months and football whizz Kylian Mbappé will have to don a mask to protect a broken nose when recalled to a side seeking glory at Euro 2024.

Mbappé sustained the injury on Monday night during the closing stages of France's 1-0 win over Austria. It was feared he would sit out the tournament but tests showed he would not require immediate surgery. A red, white and blue face mask has been prepared for the Real Madrid striker.

France showed they needed the 25-year-old's nose for goal during the 0-0 draw against the Netherlands on Friday night in Leipzig.

Last year, during the Euro 2024 qualifying campaign, Mbappé bagged a brace in both of France's victories over the Netherlands on their way to topping the group and pushing the Dutch into second place.

"I had two good chances," stand-in skipper Antoine Griezmann told French broadcaster M6 after Friday night's draw.

"It was a shame. Defensively we were good and tactically we were good. It's just the attackers who didn't perform."

For France and their legions, the region of concern is further up the human frame.

Read more on RFI English

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