‘He is getting used to the mask’: Kylian Mbappé on target in France friendly

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Kylian Mbappé;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Kylian Mbappé</a> warmed up in a mask but did not feature against the <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Netherlands;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Netherlands</a>, after breaking his nose in the win over Austria.</span><span>Photograph: Ralf Ibing/Sportphoto/Getty Images</span>

Aurélien Tchouaméni has insisted Kylian Mbappé will be ready to shine if selected against Poland, after the France captain returned to action by scoring twice in a behind-closed-doors game on Saturday. France will advance to the last 16 with victory in Dortmund, which could be enough to earn top spot in Group D, depending on how the Netherlands fare against Austria.

Mbappé was an unused substitute in France’s 0-0 draw with the Dutch on Friday but less than 24 hours later he impressed in a 60-minute match, scoring twice and setting up two goals in a game between teams comprising under-21 players from Paderborn, France’s base for the tournament.

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“You know Kylian,” said the France and Marseille defender Jonathan Clauss. “He played well, he is getting used to his mask and that was the point of playing in that game. He scored and delivered some assists. Great Kylian, just like normal.”

Mbappé, who broke his nose in France’s victory against Austria on Monday, played in the custom-made black mask he will wear whenever he plays at this summer’s European Championship.

The 25-year-old has trained in a tricolour mask featuring his initials and the France crest but is unable to wear it in competitive matches owing to Uefa regulations that stipulate “it must be a single colour and free of team and manufacturer identification”.

France will train at their base on Monday morning after a light session on Sunday. “Everybody knows that he wants to play the next game, it’s not a surprise for anyone,” Tchouaméni said of Mbappé, who will join him at Real Madrid next season after the forward left Paris Saint-Germain on a free.

“He is getting used to the mask, he and we obviously would prefer he could play without it but we don’t have a choice. We know that he’ll be ready. Nothing’s changed. We know he will bring a lot to the match if he plays.”


Tchouaméni, who won the Champions League with Madrid earlier this month but did not feature in the final against Borussia Dortmund, also reserved praise for midfield partner N’Golo Kanté, who moved to Saudi Pro League club Al-Ittihad last year.

“We can see that playing in Saudi Arabia hasn’t had an adverse affect on his performances,” he said. “He is playing at a very high level and it is great to play alongside him.”