Euro 2024: Mbappe believes having a broken nose makes him a target against Belgium


Dusseldorf, July 1 (IANS) France will take on Belgium in their Round of 16 matchup at the ongoing Euro 2024 campaign at the Merkur Spiel Arena on Monday.

Ahead of the match, French captain Kylian Mbappe spoke about his recent struggles while wearing a mask and how he believes it makes him a ‘target’ during the game.

“I think that if you’re playing with a broken nose and you haven’t had your nose operated yet, you’re a target. I knew what I was signing up for when I decided that I wasn’t going to go home and that I wasn’t going to get the operation done and that I was going to play,” said Mbappe in the pre-game conference.

Mbappe broke his nose in France’s opening encounter against Austria when the forward was involved in an aerial collision with Austria defender Kevin Danso. The injury forced him to miss the game against Netherlands before he returned for the side’s final group game against Poland where he scored a penalty which was also his first goal at the European Championship.

“Maybe I’ll get muscled a little bit and it might hurt. But I’m ready to give everything I can for this jersey and to help France go as far as possible. If this means that someone’s going to hit my nose, so be it. It’s already broken,” added the French captain

France entered the tournament as the favourites to win it but the Group Stage has indicated otherwise. Les Blues have only scored two goals in three games, one being a penalty and the other an own goal. It will be upto Mbappe to lead his side against a feisty Belgian outlet.

“When I got back to the dressing room, with everything that was happening around me, I thought that I was going home. Initially, it was difficult for me because there was a lot of information, lots of appointments, I didn’t really sleep that much. I spent two nights without sleeping. And it was really difficult to sit on the bench against the Netherlands knowing that you’re incapable of helping. I felt quite helpless. But, thankfully, I was able to play against Poland,” added the Real Madrid forward.

Didier Deschamps will be hoping the side register a convincing victory over Belgium as they face a difficult road ahead to the finals and the side is in dire need of confidence. A win over Belgium would set up a potential quarter-final against Portugal (Portugal faces Slovenia on Tuesday 12:30 AM IST) and a semi-final matchup against the winner of Germany/Spain.

Mbappe also went on to talk about the difficulties he faces while trying to play in a mask stating it is ‘horrible.’

“Actually it’s awful, horrible playing with a mask. I keep changing masks because every time there’s something that bothers me, there’s something that’s not quite right. It’s quite difficult to play with a mask because it limits your field of vision, your sweat clogs up. The first few days I felt like I was wearing 3D glasses. As soon as I can get rid of that mask, I will. But now I don’t have a choice. I can’t play without it. I hate it. It’s really annoying and I’ve changed it more than five times,” concluded Mbappe.



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