Lloris: Giroud-Mbappe spat ‘nothing unusual’

Lloris: Giroud-Mbappe spat ‘nothing unusual’

France goalkeeper and captain Hugo Lloris has played down the public spat between forwards Kylian Mbappe and Olivier Giroud.

The world champions begin their Euro 2020 campaign on Tuesday evening with an eagerly-awaited match against three-time winners Germany in Munich.

But their preparations have been marred by a disagreement between the strikers, with Giroud criticising the service of his team mates – despite coming off the bench to score twice in a warm-up game – and Mbappe unhappy the issue was made public.

On the eve of the Germany match, Lloris said: “Mbappe and Giroud, they had maybe a short discussion, but that’s normal – it’s nothing unusual.

“There are different opinions in the locker room, this can happen.

Kylian Mbappe

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Kylian Mbappe criticised French team mate Olivier Giroud for airing his views in public

“It didn’t harm the team at all. We’ve a great team spirit. I think we dealt with it very well.

“Kylian had to say something, but this is something he said in the past. We are focused now on our first match in this competition.”

Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps has a fully-fit squad to select from at the Allianz Arena, with Mbappe, Karim Benzema, Giroud, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele among a wealth of attacking options.

“These are world-class players who have been playing at the top level,” said Lloris.

“I understand that our opponents may be afraid of our attack and that we are praised for the attack we have.

“But we can only achieve success through the collective. It will be important to keep the right balance and be focused against such a great opponent as Germany.”

PA - Germany manager Joachim Low

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Joachim Low will leave his post in charge of Germany after this tournament

Neuer: We’re no underdogs

Germany captain Manuel Neuer said his team do not see themselves as underdogs against the world champions.

The Germans are not as well-fancied as usual, having gone out at the group stage in the 2018 World Cup and with a fairly untested team set to line up.

But they will play their group matches in Munich and Neuer said: “It is very important to start with a successful result.

“We know we owe the fans something after the last tournament. We hope to excite them with the way we will play and we need their support.

“We know France have been successful in the past year.

“But we are still a very good team, uncomfortable to play against.

“We have respect for them but we don’t see ourselves as the underdogs. We want to win the game here in Munich.”

Joachim Low is preparing for his final tournament as Germany head coach and believes his squad are brimming with ambition and enthusiasm.

“There is huge anticipation,” he said.

“We are looking forward to the start for us against the reigning world champion, this is something special.

“In the team there is a lot of eagerness and ambition, this is what you can feel. All players are hungry, are greedy, they want to be successful and this makes me feel confident and sleep well at night.”

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