Mbappe new France captain after Lloris retires after World Cup defeat

Wednesday March 22 2023
French footballer Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring France's first goal against Argentina from the penalty spot during the Qatar 2022 World Cup final. France's head coach Didier Deschamps on March 20, 2023 named him as new captain of the Les Bleus. PHOTO | ODD ANDERSEN | AFP


“Kylian Mbappe will take over as captain of France after Hugo Lloris stepped down following last year’s World Cup final defeat to Argentina,” a source close to the team told AFP.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) forward Mbappe, 24, accepted the role after discussions with French national football team coach Didier Deschamps.

His first game as captain will be Friday's Euro 2024 qualifier against the Netherlands at the Stade de France, ‘Les Bleus' first match since their World Cup final disappointment in Doha on December 18, 2022.

Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris, 36, brought an end to his international career in January, in the weeks after Lionel Messi's Argentina side beat the French in a penalty shootout following a thrilling match that ended 3-3 in extra-time.

Lloris had been French national team skipper for more than a decade.


Tottenham Hotspur's French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris attempts to save a shot during an English Premier League football match. PHOTO | AFP


Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann was named French football team vice-captain after Manchester United centre-back Raphael Varane also hung up his boots following the defeat to Argentina in December.

Mbappe, who scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final defeat, had been heavily linked with the captain's role for weeks.

Platini approves

Michel Platini, who captained France to victory in the 1984 European Championship, said the decision was a very good idea.

"In giving him the captaincy responsibility, it allows Kylian when necessary to go further, higher and stronger," Platini, the ex-head of European football's governing body UEFA, said in a statement to AFP.

Mbappe helped ‘Les Bleus’ to World Cup glory as a teenager in 2018 and has established himself as arguably the leading forward on the global stage.

Read: France are world champions

The Paris-born former Monaco player is vice-captain at PSG behind Brazilian defender Marquinhos and led the side in the defender's absence during Sunday's loss to Rennes.

Mbappe has scored 19 goals in 24 the French Ligue 1 matches this season and contributed seven goals in PSG's run to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they were knocked out by Bayern Munich.

France is grouped with the Dutch, the Republic of Ireland, Greece and Gibraltar in their qualifying group for Euro 2024, which is to be held in Germany.