Kylian Mbappe 'cannot play' France v Spain clash at Euro 2024 as injury alarm bells raised

Kylian Mbappe is still struggling for form due to a fractured nose, says Frank Leboeuf (Image: Getty)

France have been told that Kylian Mbappe ‘cannot play’ their Euro 2024 semi-final against Spain as he is still struggling with the fractured nose he suffered earlier in the tournament. French football icon Frank Leboeuf has told Didier Deschamps to drop his captain for the sake of the country’s chances of winning the competition.

Mbappe suffered the problem towards the end of France’s first group-stage match against Austria. The 25-year-old has worn a protective medical mask in each game since and has seemed prohibited by his injury.

He has been seen rubbing his nose during matches in a clear sign that the issue is still affecting him. Former France defender Leboeuf believes Mbappe was also in poor form for Paris Saint-Germain before the European Championship and needs to be dropped.

“He’s been struggling for a while. Because of his injury he has an excuse but before that he was struggling with Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League,” he told ESPN.

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“So, it’s not the Mbappe that we have seen. Because of his injury, I think he is not capable of playing at the top level. Whether he should play or not [is not my decision]. For the best of everybody, right now he shouldn’t play. It is a big statement.

“He’s not at 100 per cent, he’s maybe at 50, 60 per cent of his possibility because of the mask, because of his injury and everything.

“It’s not the Mbappe that we were expecting, so therefore for me, for him and for the national team he shouldn’t play because he doesn’t serve the country and the team like he should do and it’s not even his fault.

“He’s injured, he has a broken nose, he has a problem with the mask, he shouldn’t play. I think it’s a breathing issue on top of a vision issue.

Kylian Mbappe’s nose injury has prohibited his performances for France at Euro 2024 (Image: Getty)

“I have nothing against Mbappe, 100 per cent he should play [if fit]. I’m the first fan and I have been criticised by people who say, ‘stop defending Mbappe’. I really love the player, he’s a fantastic player but you cannot play right now.”

Mbappe, whose penalty against Poland is his only goal at the tournament, is widely expected to start for France in tonight’s semi-final against Spain. Manager Deschamps gave a staunch defence of the Real Madrid-bound star this week.

“Don’t you think he has already made enough history, with what he has done so far?” the World Cup-winning former France midfielder said. “He wants to make even more history.

“We did everything we could with him, with the medical staff, to get him to be here. During the preparation, he had a little back problem, too, but Kylian is here.”