Mbappe relaxed over topping Platini's France goal total

AFP , Sunday 26 Mar 2023

Kylian Mbappe will try to put thoughts of surpassing France great Michel Platini's international goal-scoring tally to one side when he faces the Republic of Ireland in a Euro 2024 qualifier.

France s forward Kylian Mbappe (C) fights for the ball with Netherlands midfielder Jurrien Timber (L) and Netherlands defender Lutsharel Geertruida (R) during the UEFA Euro 2024 qualification football match between France and Netherlands at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on March 24, 2023. AFP

The 24-year-old Paris Saint-Germain star is set to captain Didier Deschamps' men in Dublin on Monday, having scored two goals in Friday's comprehensive 4-0 defeat of the Netherlands.

Those goals followed Mbappe's hat-trick in an agonising World Cup final loss to Argentina in December.

Mbappe has now scored 38 international goals, just three fewer than playmaker Platini, but still some way short of Olivier Giroud's all-time France record of 53 goals.

"For me, it's an honour to be at this stage," Mbappe told a pre-match press conference on Sunday. "That's my next target and I'll keep going, It might be tomorrow, it might not.

"Obviously Michel Platini is a legend of French football, but I'll get past that mark at some point."

France coach Deschamps, who appointed Mbappe captain in succession to the long-serving Hugo Lloris, was confident, however, his new skipper would put the team's needs ahead of any personal aims.

"That's Kylian, he's full of ambitions, always setting himself new objectives, new goals," said Deschamps. "But the group, the collective, comes first. He's gone past people quickly, but his motivation is to keep going."

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