Tottenham Hotspur and former France national team goalkeeper Hugo Lloris recently announced his retirement from international football. As a result, Les Bleus are without a captain.
France manager Didier Deschamps has a decision on his hands, whether to go with a veteran player like Manchester United’s Raphaël Varane or hand it to the present and future of French football in Kylian Mbappe.
“A player like Raphael Varane can claim this captaincy,” Lloris told the French media outlet in a recent interview. “There is a player who is gaining momentum and at all levels, on the pitch and even off the pitch, or in group life, in the locker room, it is Kylian Mbappe. He began to take on a new role within the team. And I think we need that in a collective, in a team. Whatever the choice, we will be fully behind.”
Deschamps will need to decide in March when France begins their qualifying fixtures for UEFA Euro 2024. Both players can make cases to lead the two-time World Cup winners in this next cycle of international football.
Varane is a UEFA Champions League winner and was on the squad that won the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Meanwhile, Mbappe was also on the World Cup-winning team in Russia, so he has that experience.
Furthermore, the 24-year-old displayed leadership qualities during the 2022 World Cup final against Argentina. Mbappe scored a hat-trick and converted his penalty kick shootout attempt in a losing effort.
Over the next few weeks, France will have this debate likely between Mbappe and Varane, so it’s interesting to see which path the coaching staff decides to take.