Euro 2024: Kylian Mbappé says ‘no victories without risks’

Kylian Mbappé might just be preparing to take a gamble to play for France despite a broken nose at the European Championship.

“Without risks, there are no victories,” the France superstar wrote in a cryptic Instagram post Wednesday while the football world waits to discover how long he will be out of action after getting hurt in the team’s opening game of the tournament.

It was the only comment so far from Mbappé or the French team management on a day when the Real Madrid-bound striker underwent more tests on the nose injury sustained in the 1-0 win over Austria on Monday.

There was a sighting of Mbappé, though, as he belatedly came out for a late-afternoon training session. He had a bandage covering his nose and he was seen running with a ball away from the main squad, with a trainer.

Earlier, the diagnosis had been fairly encouraging from two of his teammates.

“A fractured nose isn’t the end of the world,” midfielder Adrien Rabiot said Wednesday through a translator at a lunchtime news conference in Paderborn, where France holds its training sessions at Euro 2024, “and Kylian should be with us pretty soon.”

William Saliba said he spoke to Mbappé and reported the striker was feeling a “bit better.”

Mbappé broke his nose when his face collided with the shoulder of Austria defender Kevin Danso. Blood was seen pouring from Mbappé’s badly swollen nose, turning parts of his white France jersey red. He will have to wear a face mask if he plays on at the tournament, his team said.

France’s next match is against the Netherlands on Friday and the team has yet to officially confirm whether Mbappé is available.

“I saw him this morning, he was a bit better,” Saliba said through a translator. “I think he was off to do more tests. I don’t know anything more.

“But when I saw him this morning, he was a bit better.”

Rabiot has compared the injury to one suffered by his teammate at Juventus, goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. The Poland international broke his nose against Torino in April, underwent surgery and was back with the team the following week.

The widespread expectation is that Mbappé will play a further part at Euro 2024, especially since France’s win over Austria means the team is likely to advance to the knockout stage, which begins on June 29.

France will not be playing their match in the round of 16 before June 30.

Rabiot stressed he didn’t know how long Mbappé will be out but said “playing without Kylian could be tough.”

“He is a very important teammate and he is our captain, so it will have an effect on us, but also for the opponents — it will be different for them to prepare their game,” Rabiot said.

“I’m not going to hide it, we definitely want him to play. [But] looking at who we have on the bench, I think we have what it takes to replace Kylian. If he’s not there, it’s going to be a bit more tough but I trust all the great players we have on the team.”

Olivier Giroud and Randal Kolo Muani are the options to come in for Mbappé, who was nominally a centre-forward against Austria but was given licence to roam to the left or right. It was from the right wing where he played in the cross for the only goal — a header into his own net by Maximilian Wober.