Why Mbappe ditched mask for France’s Euro 2024 semi-final defeat to Spain

Mbappe broke his nose in the group stages and subsequently donned a mask to protect his face.

However, the soon-to-be Real Madrid striker struggled to find the back of the net with the headwear – only scoring in a 1-1 draw with Poland from the penalty spot – and opted to take it off for the semi-final against Spain, although he could not inspire Les Bleus to victory.

Mbappe put it simply: he was “fed up” of how the mask felt.

He told reporters: “They played a better game than us. A big gap? We should review the game. We conceded two goals quickly and in the second half we had opportunities to come back but we didn’t come back.

“Playing without the mask? Before the game, we made the decision, I was fed up with the mask, I asked the doc if I could and he told me I could do what I wanted.”

Mbappe was left heartbroken by France’s defeat, insisting their entire tournament was a “failure”.

He added: “The competition is a failure. I wanted to be European champion. It’s been a long year, I’m going on holiday to rest. I wasn’t good and we’re going home, it’s simple. I have to rest. After that, I’m leaving for a new life.”

Mbappe will take some time to relax before preparing for the new season with Real Madrid. There is no third-place play-off at Euro 2024, so France do not have another fixture to contend with.

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