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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Euro 2024: France captain Mbappe suffers broken nose during victory opener against Austria

Kylian Mbappe is set to continue playing at Euro 2024 with a face mask after suffering a gruesome injury during France’s opening match of the tournament.

The new Real Madrid superstar sustained a broken nose after a painful late collision with Austria defender Kevin Danso during Monday night’s Group D clash at the Dusseldorf Arena, which tournament co-favourites France won 1-0 after Mbappe forced a first-half own goal from Leeds defender Maximilian Wober, before spurning a glorious chance to double the lead after the interval.

Mbappe received lengthy treatment on the pitch after Austria goalkeeper Patrick Pentz called for immediate medical assistance, with blood pouring from the player’s nose and covering his white shirt.

The captain of France was treated first by the medical staff and Dr. Franck Le Gall, who diagnosed him with a nose fracture.

He went off for more treatment before unexpectedly re-entering the fray without the referee’s approval and sitting down on the pitch to stop the game as France struggled to get a replacement on as they defended a 1-0 lead at a pivotal time with 10 men, leading to a yellow card to be brandished in his direction by Spanish official Jesus Gil Manzano.

Mbappe was taken to hospital in an ambulance after the game for assessments to determine whether or not he may need an operation that would put his participation in the rest of the tournament in serious jeopardy.

However, the French Football Federation (FFF) have since confirmed reports that the 25-year-old will not undergo surgery in the “immediate future” and is instead set to receive a period of dedicated treatment before having a protective face mask designed for his return to action.

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It remains to be seen if Mbappe will be fit to feature on Friday night in Leipzig, when France battle fellow European heavyweights the Netherlands in a match likely to prove crucial in determining the winners of Group D. France wrap up the group stage against Poland in Dortmund next Tuesday evening (June 25).

Mbappe has now publicly addressed the injury for the first time, taking to social media website X after leaving hospital in Dusseldorf at around 1am local time on Tuesday morning with the message: “Des idées de masques?”, which translates into English as: “Any ideas for masks?”

Meanwhile, Roy Keane insisted Kylian Mbappe was “out of order” after re-entering the pitch and sitting down immediately at the end of France’s Euro 2024 win against Austria.

The France captain, who created the only goal of the game which gave France a winning start to the tournament in Dusseldorf, was left covered in blood after his head hit the shoulder of Austria defender Kevin Danso following a challenge in the air.

Yet France boss Didier Deschamps was left incensed when Spanish referee Jesus Gil Manzano didn’t allow Les Bleus to make a substitute when the ball next went out of play.

Mbappe then, without permission from the official, re-entered the field of play with a bloody shirt and immediately sat back down. Manzano then ran over and booked the France captain and ex-Manchester United captain Keane was left unimpressed with Mbappe’s behaviour.

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“He’s gone back on the pitch, whether he’s trying to stop the play, but just sitting on the pitch, I don’t like to see this… this is out of order,” Keane told ITV Sport.

“Listen, whether he’s been instructed by the manager to go back, he’s had treatment, he’s come off. To go back on and sit on the pitch, he deserved that yellow card – you don’t like to see it!”

Gary Neville, also on punditry duties, agreed with his former team-mate: “I think he [Mbappe] looks at Deschamps and he’s gone ‘get on’.

“I think he’ll think he’s let himself down.”

It had been a mixed evening for Mbappe until that point, with the star forward playing a key role in France’s only goal of the goal as his cross deflected in off Austria defender Max Wober.

But Mbappe, who joins Real Madrid on 1 July, was unable to score his first goal at the European Championships after wasting a golden chance to double France’s lead when sent through on goal.

France held on in Dusseldorf to open their Euro 2024 with a victory, joining Netherlands on three points after their opening Group D win over Poland. Les Blues face the Netherlands in Leipzig on Friday night.

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