Ibrahima Konate cannot understand France’s criticism of choosing Kylian Mbappe as their new captain.
The 24-year-old was named on Tuesday as the successor to Hugo Lloris, who retired from international football after the 2022 World Cup, ahead of Atlético Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann.
Many had thought that Griezmann, who has 117 caps to his name, would be the one to take over from Lloris, but he will instead back Mbappe as France’s new vice-captain after Raphael Varane also retired from the international scene.
Didier Deschamps had previously quashed rumors that Mbappe had already been named captain, but the decision was confirmed to the France team at their Clairefontaine training base.
Mbappé has managed Paris Saint-Germain on occasion this season, in the absence of Marquinhos, and has received the full support of Liverpool defender Konate, who cannot understand why the decision would be questioned.
“Even if I had a say in this, I wouldn’t change a thing. It is the coach’s decision but I am very happy, ”he told Eurosport.
“Honestly, Kylian deserves it. We are unanimous on this. He deserves it with what he has done in the World Cup and with PSG as well.
“He is a very good leader, on and off the pitch. He is a young man who loves to laugh and have fun, nothing more. He is a very good person. Some may think that he is arrogant. It is something that they asked me in my club and in other places. To them I say ‘Are you crazy? It is so nice. Of course, he will be a good skipper.
The previous captains of France
Mbappé joins an illustrious list of French players who have worn the national team armband.
No player has captained Les Bleus more than Lloris, who led the team 121 times in his international career of 145 caps. Didier Deschamps, Michel Platini, Marcel Desailly, Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira also captained France on at least 20 occasions.
Mbappé is the ninth PSG player to lead France, the most recent being Presnel Kimpembe who replaced Lloris on two occasions.
Notable former captains
- Hugo Lloris
- didier deschamps
- michel platini
- Marcel Desailly
- Roger Marche
- Manuel Amoros
- Zinedine Zidane
- Marius Tresor
- jean djorkaeff
- Thierry Henry
- Patrick Vieira
- Rafael Varane
- Lilian Thuram