France’s World Cup winning coach Didier Deschamps has poured cold water on rumours that there is a developing rivalry between Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.
Griezmann, 27 and Mbappe, 19, were two of France’s key performers in Russia this summer, each scoring four goals as Les Bleus lifted their second World Cup title.
The pair played in all seven of France’s games at the World Cup and each scored in the 4-2 win over Croatia in the final. Mbappe also won the Young Player of the Tournament award.
Following France’s success, both are believed to be in the running to win this year’s Ballon d’Or but Deschamps does not believe their individual competition will create a rift.
“No, there has never been any contradiction between them or one who wants to do more than the other one,” Deschamps insisted.
“They have been important, one after the other at a different time and also sometimes together. They are determined as they score goals and make a lot of goals. There is no struggle between them.
“In fact they are both here with us, not only them because there are other players, but it’s a strong power for France.”
In subsequent months after France’s World Cup triumph, Griezmann has insisted that the award should go to a Frenchman, but has stopped short of saying he deserves to win it despite admitting it is a ‘dream’ of his to do so.
His hopes of winning it have perhaps been strengthened by the fact he also won the Europa League with Atletico Madrid, however, Luka Modric is regarded as the favourite after winning The Best FIFA Men’s Player award in September.
If Mbappe doesn’t win it this year, he is expected to at some stage providing he maintains the form he has displayed since bursting onto the scene with Monaco in 2016-17.
The pair have been in good form for their respective clubs this season with Griezmann scoring six goals and providing five assists in all competitions for Atletico Madrid and Mbappe netting 11 times in just nine Ligue 1 appearances for PSG.