Euro 2024: Kylian Mbappe edges closer to French football history despite group-stage disappointment

Kylian Mbappe is close to matching Michel Platini's goal tally at major competitions for France (Imago/Newspix)

Euro 2024: Kylian Mbappe edges closer to French football history despite group-stage disappointment

Seye Omidiora 20:23 - 25.06.2024

The forward’s strike against Poland on Tuesday means he closes in on Les Blues record at major tournaments.

Kylian Mbappe returned in a mask for France at Euro 2024 and very nearly won the game for Didier Deschamps’s men on his comeback against Poland

France vs Poland 

The forward’s inclusion from the off was partially doubtful as a consequence of the broken nose suffered in Les Blues’ Group D opener against Austria

Mbappe missed France’s goalless encounter with the Netherlands, but the Real Madrid forward was back in the XI against Poland, duly opening the scoring from the spot as the 2018 World Cup winners went top of their section. 

However, they were pegged back by a Robert Lewandowski penalty with 10 minutes remaining. The 1-1 draw in Dortmund means the 2016 European runners-up have failed to end top of their group at a major competition since Euro 2012 when they ended second on four points, three behind England (7). 

Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe and Robert Lewandowski | Imago

Regardless, Mbappe notching the game’s opening goal brought him closer to French football history. 

Mbappe is on the brink of matching Platini at major competitions

Tuesday’s goal may have been Mbappe’s first at any European Championship finals, but it increased his tally at major competitions — World Cups and Euros — to 13, taking the France captain level with Just Fontaine and one behind Michel Platini, who netted 14 times. 

The Real Madrid forward will emulate Platini with a goal in the round of 16.

What comes next?

Despite Austria ending France’s five-tournament run of ending top of their group, Mbappe and his teammates seek progress at Euro 2024 when the tournament favourites face runners-up in Group E — currently Belgium — in the first knockout round on July 1.