France rift: Griezmann could quit after being ‘hurt and upset’ by Mbappe ‘legitimacy’ call
Antoine Griezmann is considering quitting international football after being snubbed for the France captaincy in favour of Kylian Mbappe.
Manager Didier Deschamps has appointed Mbappe as the new skipper of the national team after Hugo Lloris announced he was retiring after December’s World Cup final defeat to Argentina.
And according to Le Figaro, this hasn’t gone down with Griezmann, who viewed himself as the top contender for the role.
The 32-year-old has scored 42 goals for his country from 117 caps and has become a leader in the team in recent years, performing brilliantly in major tournaments for Les Bleus.
The report states that Griezmann is ‘hurt and upset’ by Deschamps’ decision, with the manager reportedly viewing Mbappe as his choice of ‘legitimacy’.
It’s not entirely clear what that means, but it’s thought the fact that he’s 24 is a major factor as he could lead the team for close to a decade.
But Griezmann is said to believe his loyalty to Deschamps would be key, as well as the fact he considers himself to be a less divisive figure compared to Mbappe.
It’s claimed Griezmann did not hide his disappointment a the national football centre in Clarefontaine after Mbappe was announced as the new leader.
It’s claimed missing out on the captaincy has created doubts in his head about his international future, and the next week – which will see France play the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland in the Euro 2024 qualifiers – will have a key part to play in decision.
Griezmann was at the centre of a reported issue for France at the World Cup in Qatar.
He and Lloris were reportedly ‘happy’ to see Karim Benzema sent home with an injury as they thought the Real Madrid striker ‘could put their leadership in jeapardy’.
Benzema was set to lead the line for France but picked up an injury on the eve of the tournament.
Rumours ahead of the final suggested the striker could return to the squad having recovered from his problem, but such a suggestion was dismissed by manager Didier Deschamps.
Benzema wanted to stay in Doha as he was told he could recover in time for the quarter-finals or even the Round of 16.
But it was claimed the French Football Federation (FFF) and Deschamps never considered the Ballon d’Or winner’s return to the squad, because Lloris and Griezmann didn’t want him there.
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