Lloris backs Mbappe to ‘keep up’ with France

France captain Hugo Lloris gave his take on young striker Kylian Mbappe’s nascent international career ahead of their final World Cup qualifier at Stade de France.

Les Bleus lead the way in qualification Group A with a one-point lead over Sweden and can book their place in Russia with victory at home to Belarus on Tuesday.

That match could feature the 18-year-old Paris Saint-Germain striker, who became a global superstar with his performances for Monaco but is still settling into the national team.

"Mbappe needs to keep up with the French team," the Tottenham goalkeeper said. "It's hard to judge a player's performance in the game against Bulgaria.

"Kylian should not be held entirely responsible. He's a young player, even if he's very talented.

"He still has time to make the next steps. He can rely on his talent because he is able to make a difference in the big moments."

Meanwhile, France head coach Didier Deschamps spoke about the pride of playing at a World Cup, reminding his players that representing their country is not the same as playing for their club.

"Players can play at the highest level in the biggest clubs, but there is nothing more beautiful than playing a World Cup," Deschamps said. "It's a global event for professional players.

"The World Cup is the must-have. Sometimes you look at it in front of the TV. I watched two of them on TV. And I played a World Cup but we didn't need to qualify because it was at home."

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