France and Paris Siant-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe has revealed it was racist abuse, rather than criticism of his Euro 2020 displays, that almost pushed him to withdraw from Les Bleus.
The comment came after French Football Federation President Noel Le Graet told Le Journal du Dimanche that Mbappe was angry and did not want to play for his country again after facing flak from angry fans.
The 23-year-old failed to score in any of his four outings in last year’s competition, with France surprisingly eliminated by Switzerland in the last 16.
PSG forward Mbappe missed the decisive spot kick as the reigning world champion suffered a shock defeat on penalties following a 3-3 draw after extra time.
Mbappe responded to Le Graet’s comments by saying on Twitter: “Yes, however, I explained to him clearly that it was in relation to racism and NOT to the penalty. But I considered that there had been no racism …”
As the young figurehead of the France team, Mbappe faced stiff criticism as he struggled to make an impact on the tournament.
Le Graet said in Sunday’s newspaper interview: “I met with him after the Euros. He felt that the federation had not defended him after his missed penalty and the criticism he faced on the networks.
“We met for five minutes in my office. He was angry, he didn’t want to play for the French team anymore – which he obviously didn’t mean.
“You know how it is; he’s a winner, he was very frustrated, like all of us, by the elimination. He’s so media-friendly. He’s a great guy.”
Mbappe has gone on to play a further nine times for France since last year’s disappointing Euro 2020 showing, helping his country to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
He has scored 27 goals in 57 senior appearances for his country.