Didier Deschamps responds to Antoine Griezmann ‘disrespect’ after snub for Kylian Mbappe as France captain

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

Didier Deschamps has assured Antoine Griezmann that he remains a focal point in his France squad despite being snubbed for the captaincy.

The 32-year-old was seen by many as the natural choice for the armband following Hugo Lloris’ international retirement but Kylian Mbappe, 24, was handed the honour instead.

The news has led to speculation in French football over the future of Griezmann, who was reportedly hurt by not being named captain.

Former Les Bleus star Robert Pires has described it as “disrespectful” but Deschamps has insisted that naming the striker as vice-captain will ensure he remains an important figure.

“He knew very well that he had the possibility of being [captain],” confirmed the coach on Tout le Sport, via GFFN.

“I spoke with him, but despite it all giving it to Kylian is not taking it away from Antoine.

“Antoine, he has something additional as well, he has always been a very important player, I have always kept my confidence in him during much more difficult periods for him. Antoine, with what he does on the pitch, he is a key pillar in the sense of being the motor.

“He was and he will remain so in the future.”

France begin their Euro 2024 qualification campaign this week with games against the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland.