Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe nearly quit France national team after Euro 2020 criticism

Tom Gott
Mbappe could have walked away from France
Mbappe could have walked away from France / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

The president of the French Football Federation has revealed Kylian Mbappe nearly walked away from international football after being criticised for his struggles during Euro 2020.

Hopes were high for Les Bleus last summer following the return of Karim Benzema to the international fold, but things did not go to plan as France won just one group game and then fell to Switzerland on penalties in the round of 16, with Mbappe missing the decisive effort.

Fans and rivals alike hounded Mbappe for his miss, and now FFF president Noel Le Graet has revealed just how much of an impact that had on the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

"I met with him after the Euros, he felt that the FFF had not defended him after his missed penalty and the criticism on social media," Le Graet told Journal du Dimanche. "He was angry, he no longer wanted to play for France, which he obviously didn't truly feel.

"You know how it goes, he's a winner. He was very frustrated, like all of us, by the elimination. He is a great guy, much more of a team player than you think."

Mbappe himself had hinted at walking away from international duty after the tournament, admitting he never wanted to feel like a 'problem'.

"I have always put the France team above everything and I will always put it above everything," he told L'Equipe. "I haven't received any money to play for France and I will always play for my country for free.

"Above all, I never wanted to be a problem. But from the moment I felt that I was supposedly starting to become a problem and that people saw me as a problem...the most important thing is the France team, and if the France team is happier without me, that's how it is."

Mbappe eventually decided to continue and has been in blistering form for his country, scoring ten goals and adding five assists in his nine outings since that Euro 2020 elimination.

His goals fired France to Nations League glory later in 2021 but things haven't been so rosy for Les Bleus over the past few weeks, with Didier Deschamps' men falling to two draws and two defeats in their four games of 2022's Nations League.