Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe has been named France captain, taking over the role from the recently retired Hugo Lloris.
After 10 years as skipper, Lloris announced his intention to end his international career shortly after the 2022 World Cup, leaving Didier Deschamps to pick a new captain for this month’s games against Netherlands and Ireland and beyond.
Mbappe, despite Deschamps earlier playing down suggestions that the PSG forward had already been awarded the armband, has been handed the role. Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann has been promoted to the role of vice-captain.
“Kylian Mbappe is the new captain of Les Bleus,” Deschamps told Telefoot.
“Antoine Griezmann is the vice-captain. Kylian meets all the boxes to have this responsibility. On the field as in group life, by being a unifying element.”
Mbappe has never captained France in his 66 caps to date, but he will now become the ninth PSG player to wear the armband for Les Bleus.
Presnel Kimpembe was the most recent PSG player to captain France. Going back through time, Blaise Matuidi wore the armband on occasion over several years, while the mid-1990s saw four different players get that honour: Vincent Guerin, Bernard Lama, Alain Roche and Paul Le Guen.
In the late 1980s, it was goalkeeper Joel Bats. The first ever PSG player to captain France was Jean Djorkaeff, father of future World Cup winner Youri, between 1970 and 1972.
Mbappe turned 24 in December and is now captain of his country only three months later. Lionel Messi was also 24 when he was handed the Argentina captaincy on a permanent basis in the summer of 2011. Cristiano Ronaldo was 23 when he became Portugal captain in 2008.