Mbappe expecting broken nose to act as ´target´ for Belgium at Euro 2024

by linneafairfield

Kylian Mbappe expects his broken nose to make him a “target” for Belgium at Euro 2024 on Monday.

France meet the Red Devils in Dusseldorf for their last-16 meeting, with Mbappe still not fully recovered from a nose injury sustained against Austria.

The Real Madrid-bound forward subsequently missed the Group D draw with the Netherlands before returning – armed with a new face mask – to score from the penalty spot against Poland.

Mbappe acknowledged his facial injury and subsequent protection makes him likely to face physical challenges in the knockout stages.

“I think that if you’re playing with a broken nose and you haven’t had your nose operated yet, you’re a target,” Mbappe told a pre-match press conference on Sunday.

“I knew what I was signing up for when I decided that I wasn’t going to go home and that I wasn’t going to get the operation done and that I was going to play.

“And maybe I’ll get muscled a little bit and it might hurt. But I’m ready to give everything I can for this jersey and to help France go as far as possible.

“If this means that someone’s going to hit my nose, so be it. It’s already broken.”

Mbappe’s injury came from a clash in the Austria area as France scraped past Ralf Rangnick’s side with a 1-0 win in their opener – Les Bleus’ only victory so far at this Euros.

The France captain was left concerned whether he would feature again in Germany after the incident.

Les Bleus are gearing up for Monday…
#FiersdetreBleus pic.twitter.com/z3G0gupGnl

— French Team (@FrenchTeam) June 29, 2024

“When I got the blow to the face, I didn’t really understand what was going on,” Mbappe added. “I didn’t feel that my nose was broken.

“It was when I looked at the goalkeeper and I saw his face and I thought ‘something’s wrong here’.

“When I got back to the dressing room, with everything that was happening around me, I thought that I was going home.

“Initially, it was difficult for me because there was a lot of information, lots of appointments, I didn’t really sleep that much. I spent two nights without sleeping.

“And it was really difficult to sit on the bench against the Netherlands knowing that you’re incapable of helping. I felt quite helpless. But, thankfully, I was able to play against Poland.”

As for the face mask, Mbappe is still getting to grips with the protection ahead of the meeting with Belgium.

“Actually it’s awful, horrible playing with a mask,” he added. “I keep changing masks because every time there’s something that bothers me, there’s something that’s not quite right.

“It’s quite difficult to play with a mask because it limits your field of vision, your sweat clogs up. The first few days I felt like I was wearing 3D glasses.

“As soon as I can get rid of that mask, I will. But now I don’t have a choice. I can’t play without it. I hate it. It’s really annoying and I’ve changed it more than five times.

“But I’m not making excuses because this is the only way I can play.”

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