Can PSG Legend Mbappe Bring Home Euro Title for the First Time in Over 2 Decades?

The UEFA European Championship, commonly referred to as the Euros, is one of the most prestigious tournaments in international football. For France, a nation with a rich footballing heritage, the Euros hold a special place. As the 2024 Euro tournament progresses on, the question on every French football fan’s mind is: Can Kylian Mbappe, the PSG sensation, lead Les Bleus to glory and bring home the title for the first time since 2000?

France’s Glorious History in the Euros

France’s history in the Euros is decorated with memorable moments and iconic victories. The team first tasted glory in 1984, led by the legendary Michel Platini, who scored nine goals in the tournament. That victory on home soil was a defining moment in French football history.

The second triumph came in 2000, a golden era for French football, as the team rode on the coattails of their 1998 World Cup victory. Stars like Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry, and Didier Deschamps (now the head coach) played pivotal roles in that tournament. A dramatic extra-time victory over Italy in the final, courtesy of David Trezeguet’s golden goal, remains etched in the memories of French fans.

Since then, however, France has come close but fallen short. The heartache of losing the 2016 final to Portugal on home soil is still fresh. But with a new generation of talent, spearheaded by Kylian Mbappe, hopes are high for Euro 2024.

Kylian Mbappe: The Prodigy Ready to Lead

Kylian Mbappe’s rise to stardom has been nothing short of meteoric. Bursting onto the scene as a teenager at AS Monaco, he quickly established himself as one of the brightest talents in world football. His move to Paris Saint-Germain only amplified his abilities, and he has since become one of the most feared forwards in the game.

Mbappe’s pace, skill, and finishing make him a constant threat. His performances in the 2018 World Cup, where he scored four goals and was instrumental in France’s triumph, showcased his ability to shine on the biggest stages. Since then, he has continued to dominate in Ligue 1 and the Champions League, racking up goals and assists with ease.

Heading into Euro 2024, Mbappe was in the prime of his career. His form in the past season has been sensational, and he is arguably the most important player for France. His ability to turn games on their head with moments of brilliance makes him the focal point of Didier Deschamps’ plans.

The Road to Euro 2024: Key Moments and Milestones

The journey leading up to Euro 2024 was filled with ups and downs for France. The qualification campaign saw them face tough opposition, but Les Bleus emerged as group winners, showcasing their depth and quality. Key victories over strong teams like Ireland and the Netherlands during qualifiers were crucial in building confidence and momentum. They also set a country record with their largest victory in history, a 14-0 beat down over Gibraltar.

One of the defining moments of the tournament’s lead-up was the 2022 World Cup, where France reached its second consecutive final, defeating Poland, England, and Morocco. This achievement served as a reminder of the team’s capabilities and resilience, even if they did lose to Argentina in the final match.

In the months leading up to Euro 2024, France has seen some crucial players return from injury, bolstering their squad depth. The emergence of young talents like Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni has added more dynamism to the midfield, while veterans like Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann provide experience and leadership.

Euro 2024: The Current State of the Tournament

As of July 1, 2024, Euro 2024 has already delivered a plethora of exciting matches, including a 1-0 win over Austria and back-to-back draws with the Netherlands and Poland. Despite just barely squeaking into the knockout rounds, France fought back into form in their most recent 1-0 victory against seasoned powerhouses Belgium.

France has navigated the group stages and knockout rounds with a mix of flair and determination. A hard-fought victory over Belgium in the Round of 16, with Les Bleus scoring a late winner, has set up a tantalizing quarterfinals clash against Portugal, whom they lost to in the 2016 Euro finals. Despite this, France is considered the favorite to win the match.

The other remaining quarterfinals feature host country Germany vs. Spain and England vs. Switzerland. Netherlands and Austria both still need to earn their spots by defeating Romania and Turkey, respectively. If France can defeat Portugal in the quarters, they will move on to play the winner of Germany and Spain, both of whom have shown remarkable form and are also considered tournament favorites.

France’s Chances of Winning the Title

So, can France go all the way? The betting odds are certainly in their favor. At most online sports betting sites, you will find them alongside Germany, Spain, and England as the odds-on favorites to win Euro 2024. While most betting markets still favor England and Spain ahead of France, here are some key factors that could tip the scales in their favor:

  1. Squad Depth and Quality – France boasts one of the deepest squads in the tournament. From a solid defense marshaled by Dayot Upamecano, Jules Koundé, and Theo Hernández to a creative and industrious midfield featuring N’Golo Kante, Adrien Rabiot, and Antoine Griezmann, the team is balanced and formidable.
  2. Kylian Mbappe’s Form – Mbappe’s current form is a major asset. Despite only having scored 1 goal thus far in the tournament, he remains fourth in attempts on target (6). His ability to score crucial goals and create opportunities for his teammates makes him a constant threat.
  3. Experience and Leadership – Didier Deschamps’ experience as a player and a coach is invaluable. He knows what it takes to win major tournaments and has instilled a winning mentality in his squad. The presence of seasoned players like Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, and Olivier Giroud adds to the team’s composure and resilience.
  4. Tactical Flexibility – Deschamps has shown a willingness to adapt his tactics based on the opposition. Whether it’s deploying a three-man defence or switching to a more attacking formation, his tactical acumen ensures that France can handle different challenges.
  5. Momentum and Confidence – The journey to the quarterfinals has built a strong sense of momentum and confidence within the squad. Victories over top teams Austria and Belgium have reinforced their belief in their abilities.

Conclusion: The Final Push

As the tournament approaches its climax, France stands on the cusp of history. With the weight of history and the hopes of a nation on their shoulders, can this French squad emulate the heroes of 1984 and 2000? The upcoming quarterfinal against Portugal will be a stern test, but if PSG legend Mbappe and France can overcome this challenge, the final beckons.

Tags Euro 2024 France National Team Kylian Mbappé

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