Euro 2024 France Kylian Mbappe returns practice game

France captain Kylian Mbappé made his return to the pitch on Saturday playing 60 minutes in a game behind closed doors after breaking his nose against Austria on Monday.

Mbappé and his teammates who didn’t start the goalless draw against the Netherlands on Friday played two halves of 30 minutes in teams mixed with Paderborn U21 players.

Mbappé, 25, was on the team in white bibs, on the left wing, alongside Olivier Giroud. He scored two goals and provided two assists in his team’s victory, a source told ESPN.

Before the game, the young Paderborn players had been told not to be too aggressive in the duels and the contacts, the same source said.

Mbappé was sporting the black mask that he will have to wear whenever he plays again at this European Championship.

Taking part in this game was always part of the comeback process. He needed to get used to the mask and he seemed a little bothered by it at the start but adapted quickly.

The game was also good for his fitness after not training much since Monday. Mbappé knew before kickoff on Friday that he would not play at all against the Netherlands, regardless of the scenario of the match.

“It was wise that he stayed on bench” Didier Deschamps said after the draw.

It is too early, however, to say that Mbappé will start against Poland on Tuesday in Dortmund in a key encounter for France with their hopes to top the group. Deschamps is likely to make a decision at the last minute regarding the new Real Madrid star who wants to play against the Poles like he wanted to play against the Dutch.

There are only two training sessions left before Tuesday. A light one on Sunday and a more competitive one on Monday at Signal Iduna Park.