BY DUNCAN MACKAY.
France’s World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe has revealed that he wants to play for this country at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.
But the 21-year-old, considered the best young player in the world, admitted that it would be up to his club Paris Saint-Germain whether he was allowed to take part or not.
“Playing in the Olympics, I don’t control everything,” he told France Football magazine.
“Of course I want to go, but if my club, which is my employer, doesn’t want me to go, I won’t force a clash.
“We’ll soon talk about it,”
Mbappe has already reassured French national coach Didier Deschamps that taking part at Tokyo 2020 would not be at the expense of playing in Euro 2020, due to take place across Europe next summer.
“The coach was adamant that it would never be to the detriment of the Euro,” Mbappe said.
“I reassured him by telling him that I also wanted to play in the Euro, and he said: ‘So it’s up to you to deal with the people it concerns’.”
Euro 2020 is due to take place between June 12 and July 2 and will be followed by the football tournament at Tokyo 2020, which is scheduled to start on July 23 – four days before the official opening of the Olympic Games – and finish with the final on August 8.
That day is the official start of the new 2020-2021 Ligue 1 season and Paris Saint-Germain may be reluctant to let a player they paid €180 million (£154 million/$201 million) for miss their opening match.
The Olympic Games is an under-23 tournament with each side allowed three overage players.
France qualified for Tokyo 2020 by reaching the semi-finals of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Italy and San Marino this year.
At the time, Mbappe responded to the team’s qualification by posting a message with a “TOKYO 2020” on Twitter accompanied by a flashing emoticon and a French flag.
Mbappe became the second teenager, after Pelé, to score in a World Cup Final when he hit one of France’s goals in their 4-2 victory over Croatia at Russia 2018, one of four he scored during the tournament.
Even if he does not make it to Tokyo 2020 Mbappe insisted that will not be the end of his Olympic dream.
“If I don’t manage to go in 2020, I’ll still have 2024 left, in Paris,” he told France Football.
“I’d really like to do the Olympics at least once in my career.”