The French football team largely dominated the Netherlands on Friday (4-0) as they entered Euro 2024 qualifying at the Stade de France, just over three months after the lost World Cup final in Qatar. Kylian Mbappé, for his first outing as captain, scored twice. Antoine Griezmann had previously opened the scoring in the 2nd minute before Dayot Upamecano widened the gap in the 8th minute. Mike Maignan, new goalkeeper n°1 after the retirement of Hugo Lloris, stopped a penalty late in the game.
The first dish was served from the second minute, by an altruistic Kylian Mbappé. The pass for Griezmann was precise, the Atlético Madrid player did not hesitate to convert it with his left foot. The playmaker with dyed pink hair then immediately turned to his new captain to go and enjoy this aperitif heralding a feast.
As for Mbappé, he was quickly able to quench his thirst on a deep ball from Aurélien Tchouaméni, carefully avoided by Randal Kolo Muani, to align Jasper Cillessen at the near post (21st). At the end of the match, he created a double on his own (88th), offering himself a 38th goal in Blue, one more than Karim Benzema. In the meantime, Griezmann had also been able to release his secret recipe, a well-brushed free kick and finally taken over victoriously by Dayot Upamecano (8th), after a mess from Cillessen.
For the N.7 of the Blues, it's a rebirth. He who had accepted in Qatar a role of midfielder more worker than scorer, he who remained on an improbable drought of sixteen matches without scoring in the France team, finally found the flavor of the nets which tremble. This 43rd goal in this jersey comes on the evening of his 118th selection - including 75 in a row without missing a single match! - and allows him to resume his march forward in third place in the scorers' rankings, a table where Mbappé chases him at phenomenal speed.
Three days after his 32nd birthday, Griezmann offers himself a nice consolation prize with this goal and this still fair performance, in the wake of his sparkling World Cup. The native of Mâcon, who imagined receiving the armband after the international retirements of his glorious teammates, Lloris and Raphaël Varane, will he leave the disappointment behind him?
If there was the slightest concern, it was undoubtedly dissipated above Saint-Denis on this successful evening, where the two friends shone together, even if they will probably never be the best friends of the world. With the experience of Griezmann and the statistics of Mbappé, the Blues seem in any case well launched towards the Euro.