In a Euro 2024 qualifying match between France and the Republic of Ireland, Kylian Mbappe is desperate to stop adolescent football sensation Evan Ferguson from adding a new chapter to his inspirational story.
Mbappe led the French in Dublin on Monday after scoring twice in Friday's 4-0 demolition of the Netherlands.
Ferguson scored on his first senior start as the Republic defeated Latvia 3-2 in a friendly last week.
Mbappe told the striker, "He's a good, influential striker for that team.
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Ferguson, 18, scored twice to help Brighton advance to the FA Cup semifinals. He was making his debut in the Premier League, and Ferguson received high praise.
The 24-year-old Paris St. Germain player, who scored three goals in the World Cup final in December, continued, "We've seen some video about him, of course.
"But, we are hoping that he won't act tomorrow, as this will mean that we will triumph and complete our tasks. Still", he plays well.
With his two goals against the Dutch, Mbappe has now scored 38 goals in senior international competition, just three behind Michel Platini, his next target.
"To be at this point is an honour for me," he said. I'll keep working and try to reach that next goal", which might or might not be tomorrow.
Didier Deschamps, the manager of France, is confident that his captain will continue to be motivated by team goals rather than individual ones but fully expects him to accomplish precisely that.
He remarked, "That's Kylian; he's full of ambition, constantly setting new goals and targets for himself".
"But the collective, the group, comes first. He has quickly passed by everyone, yet he is still driven to leave".
While a convincing victory served as the ideal start to the season, adding three points to those already accumulated on Friday night is the immediate priority. Mbappe is well aware that there is still a long way to go.
We can't get ahead of ourselves, but despite that, he continued, "I think we put on an excellent performance.
But even if we defeat the Netherlands, we won't automatically qualify since we still have a challenging encounter on Monday.
Deschamps agreed, having seen firsthand how dangerous the Irish can be after Robbie Brady scored a penalty to give them a 1-0 lead over the Euro 2016 hosts in Lyon, which they would hold until Antoine Griezmann scored twice to advance them to the quarterfinals.
There is now a new generation of players, he said. Ferguson is a threat to the team, and (Mikey) Johnston has also joined. Players with and without experience are mixed.
"However, our team is also unique. Despite their reputation for playing straight ahead and vertically, Ireland is also capable of playing the ball along the ground, as I've seen in recent matches."