Iimage would not lack panache. Kylian Mbappé entering the lawn at the head of the France team for the football tournament of the Paris Olympic Games. The biggest star of French sport present at the biggest event hosted by France, everyone dreams of it. The Games website has also made the 2018 world champion the headliner of his page at the time of unveiling the calendar of football events. But just over a year from the Paris Olympics, the image is nothing more than an ethereal dream.
The player has never made a secret of his desire to be part of the tricolor delegation brought to parade on a Seine barge during the opening ceremony on July 26. ” I hope to be there. Everyone knows I’ve always dreamed of playing in the Olympics.” reiterated the captain of the Blues, Thursday, June 15, at a press conference.
The new president of the French Football Federation (FFF) agrees. “The presence of the captain of the France team [aux Jeux] is a major element. By his sporting qualities which can transform our teamboasted Philippe Diallo, interviewed by The world early June. But also by his aura and the light he would give to the football tournament. »
If Kylian Mbappé wants it, if the new boss of French football “Wish this wish comes true”why is it not guaranteed that the French Olympic football team will benefit from a figurehead named Mbappé in Paris? “It doesn’t depend on me, there are a lot of parameters that come into play”had specified the player, mid-April.
Don’t be the laughingstock of the world at home
Unlike other team sports, the Olympic tournament is not a “big” event for football. Scheduled ten days after the Euro 2024 final, the Olympics are not on the calendar of the International Football Federation (FIFA). This means that clubs are not forced to let their players go to selection.
To hope to be one of the three players over 23 authorized to play in the Games for the Blues (the tournament is otherwise reserved for the young guard), Kylian Mbappé will therefore have to reach an agreement with his club.
During negotiations last year to extend his lease at PSG, one of the arguments put forward to Kylian Mbappé to stay – notably pushed by Emmanuel Macron – was that he would thus be present in Paris at the time of the Games. Under contract for another year with the capital club, and decided not to go beyondthe French striker could demand from his future team the right to play in the Games.
In Tokyo, during the previous Olympic Games, tricolor football did not stand out, unlike all other team sports. Where handball, volleyball and basketball returned from Asia with their luggage weighed down with medals, the Blues of the round ball pitifully returned home at the end ofa group phase that looked like a long way of the cross (two heavy defeats and a miraculous victory). And have suffered from the reluctance of clubs to release the best players.
Three years after this debacle, there is no question for French football of being the laughingstock of the world at home. Especially when football is the sport where the most tickets have been sold. For Philippe Diallo, “the best interests of the country must prevail; the whole world will be watching us, we must field our best team”.
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If he has little power on this subject, the president of the FFF put the question on the table during his first speech to French professional clubs on June 12 and 13, calling on “general interest”. So, “Mbappé 2024”, a great national cause? France has the right to dream of it.