Kylian Mbappe eyes Platini mark for France as captain revels in ‘carefree’ generation


France face Republic of Ireland on Monday and Kylian Mbappe has more goals on his mind as he attempts to overtake “legend” Michel Platini.

Kylian Mbappe hailed the “carefree” mindset of the new France generation as the forward eyes surpassing Michel Platini on Les Bleus’ all-time scoring charts.

The Paris Saint-German superstar scored twice in his first match as France captain as Didier Deschamps’ side beat the Netherlands 4-0 on Friday to kick-start their Euro 2024 qualification campaign.

The double took the 24-year-old striker to 38 goals in 67 appearances for his country, just three international strikes short of Platini, who is fourth in France’s leading goalscorers list.

Antoine Griezmann (43), Thierry Henry (51) and Olivier Giroud (53) are the only three to have managed more and Mbappe is set to catch Platini when Deschamps’ men visit the Republic of Ireland on Monday.

In Sunday’s pre-match press conference, he said: “It’s an honor for me, but it’s also another goal to overcome.

“Platini remains a legend of French football, but I want to continue my journey and it leads through Michel Platini.”

France fell woefully short at the World Cup in Qatar, losing on penalties to Argentina in the final, but the future looks incredibly bright for Les Bleus.

Deschamps has the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni and Edouard Camavinga in midfield, while Randal Kolo Muani provides support for Mbappe up top.

Centre-backs Ibrahima Konate and Dayot Upamecano have yet to reach their 25th birthdays and Mbappe says he is enjoying leading young France.

“I don’t know all the generations. This one is carefree,” he added. “We always have a desire to show that we can do good things.

“This team can go to great heights. We’ll see different things in adversity. We had the first game we took it easy. We’ll see in time.

“There may be harder times and I hope we can handle them.”

As for the captaincy, Mbappe indicated that little has changed despite taking over the armband from the retired Hugo Lloris.

He continued: “I was the same, naturally playing my new role. There was not much to say about the team’s performance. I’m not going to talk just to talk.”

“I was a link between two generations, but during the week there were no differences. The group is doing very well, I didn’t have to interfere. The less work I have, the better for everyone.”

“We mustn’t get carried away and we’ve had a good start to qualifying. Tomorrow’s match will be more difficult than people might think.”

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