Al Khor : As the two sides prepare for their quarter-final match, England defender Kyle Walker said that France superstar Kylian Mbappe will not “stand in my way of winning a World Cup.”
Mbappe, who has five goals in four games and is on track to win the Golden Boot in the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2022, returned to training with the France team on Wednesday after a recovery session separate from the squad on Tuesday. Walker has been dubbed England’s antidote to Mbappe’s attacking danger, and the 32-year-old refuses to “lay out the red carpet” for forward.
“I think the game’s not England vs Mbappe, it’s England vs France,” Walker told a press conference on Wednesday.
“We respect that he is a good player in good form, but I am not going to roll out a red carpet for him and tell him to go and score. I’m representing my country at the quarter-final in a World Cup, it’s do or die really. If we lose, we go home. He’s not going to stand in my way of winning a World Cup for my country,” Walker said.
Walker has faced Mbappe four times in his career, each time when Manchester City faced Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.
“When we’ve played the four times against PSG for Man City in the Champions League, you’re not just thinking about Mbappe,” Walker added.
“I think it is exactly the same on Saturday. He’s a tool in their armoury that is very good, but there are other good players and we can’t underestimate them. [They have] players that have won big titles, won World Cups. So OK, he [Mbappe] is a great player, we know that – that is why all of the questions are about him,” said the England player.
“But let’s not forget about Olivier Giroud, who has scored countless goals for France and in the Premier League. Ousmane Dembele, who for me is just as good on the other wing and a very tricky player. And then you have Antoine Griezmann – these players can cause you a problem,” he added.