When Warren Zaire-Emery suited up for the French national team, he was in a dream scenario. The 17-year-old ran into the box to finish off a pass from Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman for his debut goal against Gibraltar.
However, the celebration of the teenager’s goal was short-lived. Zaire-Emery suffered a harsh tackle on his right ankle and was forced off the field in the process without even being able to celebrate.
His evening eventually saw him land in the hospital to undergo exams while his teammates scored 14 goals. Afterward, Zaire-Emery’s Paris Saint-Germain teammate, Kylian Mbappé, reacted to the teenager’s first game with Les Bleus’ senior squad.
“He’s ready,” Mbappé told TF1 (h/t Culture PSG). “Playing like that for his first selection, playing his game, that’s his greatest strength. I know what it’s like to start early, and it’s not easy to do what he does, and you have to value that.
“I hope his injury is not too severe. It’s a bit of the downside of the evening for the team and us Parisians. We hope it’s not too serious, and we’ll see what happens. But we must encourage and protect him outside.
“On the pitch, he knows how to do it because he has two great coaches with whom he can work well, but we have to support him on the pitch and protect him off it. On the pitch, you shouldn’t talk to him. Let him do his thing.”
Before leaving the game, Zaire-Emery broke a longstanding record to become the youngest French international player since 1945. The midfielder’s inclusion in the starting lineup reflects the trust the coaching staff and team management have in his abilities.
The teenager has already earned the trust of PSG manager Luis Enrique. As a result, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he soon began achieving that level of trust from manager Didier Deschamps.