Mbappé-Giroud, revived and reconciled the duo

Karim Benzema’s absence for the 2022 World Cup shines a spotlight on the prodigy Kylian Mbappé and the unsinkable Olivier Giroud, the Blues’ complementary and peaceful offensive doublet, a year and a half after tensions surfaced before the final Euro.

The Ballon d’Or’s colossal disappointment, injured in the thigh and forfeited for the tournament, is rebuilding the winning attacking trio of the 2018 World Cup, with the pair of Giroud-Mbappé supported by playmaker Antoine Griezmann.

Even if the coach Didier Deschamps can add a fourth attacker to his animation, like Ousmane Dembélé, the forces present must revive the sweet memories of Moscow.

It’s not that bad. Mbappé, in fact, is not as comfortable in the full light. And Giroud, eternal return at 36, still shines when he emerges from the shadows.

“My role in the team? Everything is clear to the coach, there is nothing more to add. When the coach needs me, I will try to bring to the team what I know how to do, as always When I came to the France team, I did the job,” explained the AC Milan center-forward on Thursday in a press conference.

Again, the Blues’ stainless N.9 rises like a “phoenix”, the nickname some friends associate with him. For a year, Deschamps refused to call him up when Benzema was available, worried about Giroud’s ability to fit into the group without hesitation.

– “Pivot” role –

The absence of the Madrilenian ensures him a starting place, with a real chance to become the top scorer in the history of the Blues, ahead of Thierry Henry (51 goals), who is only two points ahead of him.

Above all, he will free the Blues’ questions about his stay with the Madrid player, a file that has been constantly reopened for more than ten years.

For Mbappé, a boulevard is opening up. If he had to share the glory and the limelight with Neymar and Lionel Messi at Paris SG, the young world champion is now the only planetary star at the Blues, a role that suits his temperament.

In the selection, “I still have a lot of freedom, the coach knows that there is a number 9 like + Olive + covering the defenses, I can walk around, go into spaces, ask for balls”, he launched in the rally. in September, in the absence of Benzema, injured. “In Paris, that doesn’t exist, they make me work on the pivot”.

An offensive declaration towards PSG that resonated, almost, like a small declaration of love for Giroud. “He was higher on the field, we were able to find three (with Griezmann) without being cut off from the rest of the team”, pointed out the Parisian after France-Austria (2-0).

That night, Mbappé wondered about the consequences of the return of “KB19”: “Karim will also return, we’ll see how it goes.”

– From quack to “praise” –

Here is “Kyky” saved by these tactical considerations. With Giroud as a fixing point in place, Bondy’s star will have all the freedom he wants to make the difference.

“I am a striker with the characteristics of + target man +, as we say in England, with a play on the pivot, on the deflection. In my career, I have evolved with players who liked my profile because they can lean on me. This is something he (Mbappé) likes, it’s a plus for him”, explained the former Montpellier resident on Thursday.

World: Mbappé-Giroud, revived and peaceful duo

“Regarding Kylian, it’s nice to always hear praise from his partners and it’s good for the future,” he added.

These exchanged compliments recognize the thesis of a peaceful relationship between the two men, a year and a half after a communication hiccup that caused chaos, as the perfect preparation for the Euro.

Asked after his late double against Bulgaria (3-0), the Milanese had stung his teammate: “I was careful because sometimes we go shopping and the wolves don’t come”, he slipped. Mbappé did not like this and made it known.

On the road to Qatar, Giroud and Mbappé now seem to be walking in the same direction.

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