France head coach Didier Deschamps has said that star forward Kylian Mbappe does not have a big ego ahead of their final Group D match against Tunisia. The 2018 champions became the first team to qualify for the knockout stages of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Speaking ahead of the match, Deschamps defended Mbappe, saying he does not have a big ego.
"Well, I am trying to translate your question. His (Kylian Mbappe's) fitness is fine, so we do not need to manage that. So perhaps his ego is the problem then. That means that he wants to play. But does he really want to play? What do you (the media) know about that? Well, I know, but you do not. But Kylian does not have a big ego. That is not true," said Deschamps.
The Frenchman said Mbappe is a key player in his squad, adding that he has a lot more experience since the last World Cup.
"Of course, he is an important player (for France). He is a key player. But, he is (also) a team player. And, of course, he is a star because of the fact that he is such a vital player. But he is not 18-years-old anymore, and he has got a bit more experience. And, of course, he always wants to play. But that is true of all players. But not all of them can start the match against Tunisia. But that is only normal. My information is live, and it is first-hand. I get information straight from the horse's mouth and you sometimes hear only rumors," Deschamps added.
The 2018 World Cup-winning coach also touched upon Karim Benzema's return to the squad for the ongoing World Cup, saying he is happy with the team that he has.
"Well, I am not sure. That is really not something that I am thinking about. I talked to Karim (Benzema) after he left (France's World Cup squad). And you know the situation and we heard how long it was going to take for him to recover. So I do not really know what you are trying to imply. I have 24 players in my squad and I am happy with the squad that I have," said Deschamps.