Didier Deschamps explains Kylian Mbappe substitution during France vs Portugal extra-time


Didier Deschamps has explained his decision to take Kylian Mbappe off during extra-time of France’s quarter-final with Portugal.

Deschamps’ side went on to win the game via a dramatic penalty shootout but only after the manager surprised many by substituting his captain with 15 minutes of extra-time still remaining.

Mbappe had earlier seen a ball cannon off the mask he’s wearing to protect his face following the broken nose he suffered in the opening game of the tournament against Austria.

He was treated by the team’s medical staff before Deschamps’ decision to remove him during the extra period.

“He’s tired, obviously. Muscularly, it’s not easy with everything he’s had,” Deschamps said. “I saw him struggling during the first half of extra-time. It was no use.

“Kylian has always been honest with me and the group, it was normal to bring in new blood.”

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

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Former Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Bradley Barcola came on for Mbappe before scoring as one of five successful takers in the shootout.

“We spoke with the coach at the end of normal time. We said we were going to try,” Mbappe said.

“At half-time of extra-time, I told him I didn’t feel it anymore, I was too tired. He told me OK and he changed.”

The result — secured by Joao Felix’s missed spot kick — sees France into the semi-finals where they will now play Spain.

“These are emotions, we are really happy! It is very hard to repeat the performances, to be in the last four, we are still there,” the Real Madrid forward said.

“We will try to recover and prepare slowly for the match against Spain.”

(Alex Grimm/Getty Images)



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