Mbappe Named New France Captain after Lloris Retirement

Kylian Mbappe is Paris Saint-Germain's vice-captain. FRANCK FIFE / AFP/File
Kylian Mbappe is Paris Saint-Germain's vice-captain. FRANCK FIFE / AFP/File
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Mbappe Named New France Captain after Lloris Retirement

Kylian Mbappe is Paris Saint-Germain's vice-captain. FRANCK FIFE / AFP/File
Kylian Mbappe is Paris Saint-Germain's vice-captain. FRANCK FIFE / AFP/File

Kylian Mbappe has succeeded the retired Hugo Lloris as France captain, a source close to the team told AFP on Monday.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe, 24, accepted the proposal after discussions with coach Didier Deschamps earlier in the day, AFP said.

Tottenham goalkeeper Lloris brought an end to his international career in January after losing the World Cup final a month earlier.

Lloris, 36, had been skipper for more than a decade.

Atletico Madrid attacker Antoine Griezmann was named vice-captain after Manchester United center-back Raphael Varane also hung up his boots following the defeat to Argentina in December.

Mbappe, who has played 66 times for his country, had been heavily linked with the role for weeks and scored a hat-trick in the World Cup final loss after helping Les Bleus to the title in 2018.

The former Monaco attacker is vice-captain at PSG behind Brazil's Marquinhos and led the side in the defender's absence during Sunday's loss to Rennes.

His first game as captain will be Friday's Euro 2024 qualifier against the Netherlands at the Stade de France.



Licking Their Wounds, Croatia and Albania Prepare for Group B Dogfight

 Croatia's midfielder #10 Luka Modric looks on during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group B football match between Spain and Croatia at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on June 15, 2024. (AFP)
Croatia's midfielder #10 Luka Modric looks on during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group B football match between Spain and Croatia at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on June 15, 2024. (AFP)
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Licking Their Wounds, Croatia and Albania Prepare for Group B Dogfight

 Croatia's midfielder #10 Luka Modric looks on during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group B football match between Spain and Croatia at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on June 15, 2024. (AFP)
Croatia's midfielder #10 Luka Modric looks on during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group B football match between Spain and Croatia at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on June 15, 2024. (AFP)

Chastened by defeats to the heavyweights of Group B, Croatia and Albania both need a win in their clash on Wednesday to ignite their Euro 2024 campaign and give them hope of progressing.

Croatia have a rich World Cup history but have never replicated that at the Euros and began their latest attempt with a disappointing 3-0 defeat against Spain.

Albania are at only their second major tournament and performed creditably against defending champions Italy in their opening match, taking an early lead before succumbing 2-1.

Both teams urgently need points in their second game at Hamburg's Volksparkstadion, either to compete for the two qualifying spots or to bolster their chances of being one of the four best third-placed teams who will progress to the knockouts.

Croatia's coach Zlatko Dalic wants more aggression and speed from a team oozing quality -- from veteran midfielder Luka Modric, 38, at probably his last big tournament, to classy defender Josko Gvardiol, 22, at the other end of his career.

"We know what we're up against. We have two difficult matches. It's not over, keep your heads up. Our goal is to advance from the group and we will do our best to achieve that," Dalic said of a game Croatian media have billed as do-or-die.

"Everything is still in our hands, still under our control. We need to be better... It's up to me to turn things around, point out the flaws and not dwell too much on the Spain match."

Despite being viewed as minnows, Albania topped their qualifying group over teams such as the Czech Republic and Poland and are not at the tournament to make up the numbers.

Their Brazilian coach Sylvinho will try to keep his team disciplined before hitting Croatia on the break -- as they did against Italy with a goal after 23 seconds and so nearly again at the end when they narrowly failed to equalize.

"I have seen other sides in this tournament. If you try and go toe-to-toe with them, they will score five or six against you," he said. "It's only our second time here in the Euros. We have young players, very good players, but it's not easy."

Right winger Jasir Asani is Albania's main threat in what is the nation's first game against Croatia.