Paul Pogba has attempted to play down friction between France team-mates Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappe ahead of Euro 2020 beginning tonight in Rome.
The world champions start their Group F campaign against Germany on Tuesday night, but the past few days have been overshadowed by an apparent row between the strikers following a 3-0 friendly win over Bulgaria.
After the game, Chelsea striker Giroud appeared to accuse his younger team-mate of refusing to pass to him and ignoring his runs, which sparked anger from the Paris Saint-Germain forward, who reportedly wanted to hold a news conference to get his side of the story across – until he was talked out of it.
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But Pogba claims there is no issue between the pair and insists spirits are high among the squad: “No, the only tension is on the back and legs!” joked the Manchester United midfielder.
There is always a great atmosphere with everyone. Between Olivier and Kylian, there is nothing. Or at least there has been nothing in front of me.
“Maybe what was said was conveyed incorrectly.”
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France are the overwhelming favourites to win the tournament and boast one of the most threatening forward lines, with Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann, Karim Benzema and Ousmane Dembele all options alongside Giroud – who is closing in on Thierry Henry’s all-time France goal scoring record.
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Pogba told a media conference that Mbappe is one of the most talented players available to boss Didier Deschamps, but said in jest that he could do more to help the team overall.
“You know Kylian, you know his qualities. He can score and make great passes. He does amazing things at his age.
“He is an altruistic player. But I always tell him that it would be good if he defended more to help the midfielders (laughs).
“In any case, I did not see anything and we do not feel any tensions. Nothing came out.”
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