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19th Jun 2022

Kylian Mbappe almost quit international football after Euro 2020 penalty miss

Callum Boyle

Mbappe missed the decisive penalty in the shoot out defeat to Switzerland

Kylian Mbappe almost quit international football following the wave of abuse he received after his missed penalty in France’s European Championship last-16 defeat to Switzerland on penalties, revealed Noel Le Graet, the president of the French Football Federation.

Mbappe saw his spot-kick saved by Yann Sommer to see his side knocked out of the tournament – three years on from their World Cup glory.

The forward’s missed penalty led to an onslaught of criticism from all corners of social media, leading to fears that the 23-year-old may call time on his France career early.

Kylian Mbappe penalty

‘He was angry, he didn’t want to play for the French team any more’

And Le Graet confirmed that this was a genuine possibility after he had held talks with Mbappe about his international future, but stressed that the Paris Saint-Germain player’s frustrations were only brief.

“I met with him after the Euros, he felt the Federation had not defended him after his missed penalty and the criticism on the networks,” he told Le Journal Du Dimanche.

“We met for five minutes in my office. He was angry, he didn’t want to play for the French team any more – which he obviously didn’t mean.

“You know how it is, he’s a winner, he was very frustrated, like all of us, by the elimination. He’s so media-friendly.

“He’s a great guy, much more collective than people think.”

Kylian Mbappe penalty

Mbappe said he would walk away from France if he was considered to be a ‘problem’

In October 2021, Mbappe said he was prepared to walk away from international duty if he was considered to be a ‘problem’ for Didier Deschamps’ side.

“I have never taken a single euro to play for the French national team and I will always play for my national team for free,” the 23-year-old said. “Above all, I never wanted to be a problem.

“But from the moment where I felt like that I was starting to become a problem and that people felt I was a problem…

“I received the message, that my ego was what made us lose, that I wanted to take up too much space, and that without me, therefore, we might have won.

“The most important thing is the French national team and if the French national team is happier without me, [I’ll go].”

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