Excellent news for France before the quarter-finals

12 months ago

RMC via AFP report this evening that the French national team are back to their full complement in this evening’s training session, with Kylian Mbappé notably back after missing yesterday’s outing.

The forward had instead spent the session in the gym for a “classic” recovery session, while the other 23 players took part in light training after being granted a rest day. Today’s was behind closed doors, with a source close to the France team indicating to AFP that the Paris Saint-Germain was indeed present this time.

With three days to go until the quarter-final clash against England, the World Cup’s current top scorer – on five goals – appears to be fully operational. It was recently reported that he was carrying an ankle issue, as a result of a knock he took while playing for PSG, which led to recurring pains that notably flared up in the match against Denmark. In any case, he was able to complete the match against Poland, in which he scored an impressive late double.

Speaking at France’s daily press conference this afternoon, defender Ibrahima Konaté mostly discussed the prospect of facing England in Les Bleus’ quarter-final clash on Saturday evening. His words transcribed in RMC, the centre-back highlighted that the rivalry between the teams has been around for a long time, and that he had faced the Three Lions at U16 level as well.

“It’s a rivalry that’s been around since the dawn of time. Trent Alexander-Arnold sent me a message saying “see you on Saturday my brother” because I’m very close to him.” The Liverpool man also touched on the fitness of Kylian Mbappé ahead of the clash, explaining that there was nothing to worry about, that he believes the PSG forward simply wanted to spend time in the gym instead of the recovery session that was scheduled after the team’s day off.

He also pointed out that he “could not wait” to see the battle between Kyle Walker and Kylian Mbappé this weekend, with the former being “one of the best right-backs in the world”. Asked about the potential England witnesses France could exploit, the defender insisted on remaining tight-lipped – “Even if I did know, I wouldn’t have said so, I don’t like to give out information”.