Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe has been confirmed as the new captain for the France national team, coach Didier Deschamps said on Tuesday.
Sources told ESPN that Deschamps had informed the France squad about the decision on Monday.
Speaking to French outlet Telefoot, Deschamps said: “Kylian Mbappe is the new France captain. Antoine Griezmann is the vice-captain.
“Kylian ticks all the boxes to have this responsibility. On the pitch as well as within the squad, by being a key element.”
Mbappe, who has 66 caps and 36 goals for France, is taking over the captaincy from Hugo Lloris who retired from international football after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
According to sources, Deschamps had a discussion with Mbappe on Monday at Clairefontaine, the France team training centre. He also spoke with Griezmann, who was the other candidate for the armband. The head coach had made his mind up already and announced the news to his squad on Monday evening.
Mbappe will become one of the youngest France captains ever and will follow in the footsteps of Lloris who kept the armband for 14 years from 2008 to 2022.
Deschamps said during his news conference on Monday that the main quality in his choice was “legitimacy” and that “the common interest will prevail.” Deschamps added that he could feel that Mbappe has stepped up in his leadership since the World Cup.
Mbappe, who has already worn the armband for Les Bleus once, halfway through the game against Denmark in September, will start his new captaincy era on Friday against the Netherlands at the Stade de France in a qualifying match for the 2024 European Championship. They then visit Ireland in Dublin three days later.