France expect Mbappe to play with mask against Netherlands at ...

21 Jun 2024

"Everything is going well," said France coach Didier Deschamps of his star player's participation in today's match against the Netherlands. Mbappe has already trained normally. He will wear a mask to protect the fractured nose he suffered against Austria last Monday.

Mbappe mask - Figure 1

The 25-year-old France captain suffered the injury when he collided with Austrian defender Kevin Danso at the end of his team's 1-0 win in the tournament opener in Düsseldorf on Monday. After the collision, Mbappe was treated and the possibility of surgery was considered. It was initially ruled out and he trained separately from his team-mates last Wednesday with a plaster on his nose.

France are confident of his availability for Friday's second Group D match against the Netherlands. France coach Didier Deschamps said the striker was making good progress in his recovery from a broken nose.

"Everything is going well. It was a serious collision that he had, but he was able to train yesterday and take part in some activities," Deschamps told reporters in Leipzig. "Things are going in the right direction for us to try and have him available. We will do everything we can to have him available," he said.

Mbappe sports the tricolour mask, but if he plays against the Netherlands, he will have to use a different one to comply with the regulations. GETTY IMAGES

Images went around the world of Mbappe wearing a distinctive protective mask in the French colours - blue, white and red - at the team's training session. However, this will not be the mask he wears against the Netherlands, as the rules do not allow it to be coloured.

Mbappe mask - Figure 2

Initially, surgery was ruled out, the French Football Federation announced after the Austria game, and it was decided that a mask would be enough to see him back on the pitch.

It is the comments of his teammates that have French fans most optimistic about Mbappe's return. Atletico Madrid and France teammate Antoine Griezmann insisted that the Real Madrid signing was "doing really well". He said, "The nose is less swollen. We will wait until the last moment to see how he feels," Griezmann said.

Mbappe collides with Danso and fractures his nose during the France-Austria match. GETTY IMAGES

France will take on the Netherlands, who are coached by former Ajax and Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman. Koeman said his side's preparations would not be heavily influenced by the Mbappe situation. "Deschamps will know whether Mbappe will play or not, we just have to wait and see," said the Dutch coach.

Koeman believes that France, one of the favourites to win the European Championship, are not solely dependent on Mbappe playing. "We know he can change a game," Koeman said. However, the former Netherlands international was quick to point out that not everything hinges on Mbappe playing.

Mbappe mask - Figure 3

France beat Austria 1-0, while the Netherlands came from behind to beat Poland 2-1 in their opening game. Both teams are fighting for top spot in the group. "I can't predict everything, but I have a good feeling, this game is a challenge," Koeman continued.

Mbappe without the mask, with a bandage. Surgery has been ruled out. GETTY IMAGES

In any case, it seems that Mbappe will be wearing a mask against the Netherlands, but it will not be the tricolour one he wore in training last Wednesday because of the restrictions imposed by the IFAB (International Football Association Board). The regulations stipulate that the mask must be of a certain type. 

The rules state, "Black or the main colour of the shirt (as long as the players of the same team wear the same colour); in keeping with the professional appearance of the player's equipment; not attached or connected to the shirt; not posing a risk to the player wearing it or to other players." The appearance of Mbappe's mask comes as a complete surprise.

Read more
Similar news
This week's most popular news