France benefit from PSG benching Mbappé – Deschamps

Kylian Mbappé‘s reduced playing time with Paris Saint-Germain in recent weeks could be good news for the France national team as it may keep him fresh for the European Championship and Olympic Games, manager Didier Deschamps said.

The France captain, who informed PSG last month that he will leave as a free agent at the end of the season, has played the full 90 minutes in just three matches since Feb. 14, including a Champions League win at Real Sociedad, a French Cup victory over Nice and a Ligue 1 win over Montpellier on Sunday.

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Asked about Mbappé’s game time, Deschamps told reporters on Monday: “It’s important to be physically fresh for a major competition. In any case, all the players will arrive at the end of the season feeling a little tired.

“If that fatigue can be reduced a little [all the better],” the French coach added ahead of a friendly against Germany on March 23.

A move to Real Madrid this summer could prevent Mbappé from fulfilling his dream of playing at this summer’s Paris Olympics, after France under-23 coach Thierry Henry said on Monday that Madrid had turned down a request to release players for the Games.

“Real Madrid’s stance on the Olympic Games is a bit outdated,” Deschamps said. “But business people are the ones who decide. If it’s not on an official FIFA date, if they say no, the answer is no.”