More details from France’s explosive Euro 2020 meltdown have emerged, with a row involving Paul Pogba, Raphael Varane and Benjamin Pavard in their defeat by Switzerland having now been translated.
The three players were spotted bickering during the last-16 clash against the underdogs on Monday, and the mood inside their camp took another turn for the worse after the Swiss fought back to win on penalties.
Multiple spats between members of Didier Deschamps’ squad threw them into turmoil as they set about trying to live up to their tag as tournament favourites – and one of the worst came about after Pogba was accused of not defending enough.
A row involving Paul Pogba (left), Raphael Varane (centre) and Benjamin Pavard had broken out
Pavard (centre) was frustrated by Pogba’s defending in France’s 3-1 defeat by Switzerland
Manchester United midfielder Pogba had crashed home a superb strike from distance to send France 3-1 ahead, but some team-mates weren’t happy with the superstar’s contributions at the other end of the field.
Tempers came to a head when Benjamin Pavard aired his frustrations at the work-rate from Pogba, and the defender – who is a target for United this summer – quickly informed his team-mate.
‘Benj (Pavard) thinks that you are not defending enough,’ Varane is believed to have told Pogba, as claimed by Le Parisien.
Pogba, who scored France’s third goal of the tie, was reportedly furious with Pavard’s criticism
Didier Deschamps (right) has been forced to deal with discontent in his camp after their exit
Pogba then fired back, reportedly furious over the criticism, and confronted Pavard to ask: ‘What did you say?’
The outlet adds that Pavard followed up with several insults during the row, and even suggests the apparent disharmony in the group was a contributing factor in their collapse and shock exit.
It is also said Pogba apologised to Varane in the dressing room after the match, but the relationships between several players appear to remain at breaking point.
Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann in particular are understood to have been frosty towards each other, with reports in France claiming that the duo have been ‘far from friendly’.
Kylian Mbappe (centre) and Antoine Griezmann (right) are said to have been ‘far from friendly’
France were tipped as the favourites to win Euro 2020 but were eliminated at the last-16 stage
It was Paris Saint-Germain frontman Mbappe who saw the decisive spot kick saved, and he has been at the heart of the storm. Senior players are believed to have been annoyed with his ‘sulking’ in recent weeks.
L’Equipe were the first to highlight the divide between Mbappe and Griezmann, and they added the former grew ‘jealous’ of the Barcelona forward’s role in the squad.
And with Mbappe failing to control his emotions, Steve Mandanda, Hugo Lloris and Moussa Sissoko – a number of the more experienced heads with France at the showpiece – grew tired of the antics.
Sensationally, it also emerged that the mother of Adrien Rabiot, Veronique, had argued with the relatives of her son’s team-mates after the elimination.
Veronique Rabiot, the mother of PSG star Adrien, argued with the relatives of other players
Rabiot played for Les Blues in all four of their games at the showpiece before they crashed out
Veronique looked to defend the midfielder, who she also acts as an agent for, and reportedly told Mbappe’s father to ‘reframe his son and make him less arrogant’.
It is claimed a ‘heated exchange’ then broke out between Veronique and Mbappe’s parents, with the families of other players left ‘shocked’ by the outburst.
She is also said to have turned her ire to Pogba’s family, and asked why he squandered possession cheaply before Switzerland broke away to score and send the tie to extra-time.
However, despite the sorry nature of France’s knockout, boss Deschamps has insisted he has no plans to step down from his role.
Deschamps has insisted he does not plan to step down despite the nature of France’s knockout
‘That is not the question,’ he said, when asked about what his future may hold. ‘There is a unity and solidarity in this squad.
‘I am responsible, when things go badly, I am with them, they are with me.
‘We will need time to manage this. There are no magic formulas, there are balances for us to find in the future.’