Paris: Kylian Mbappe said he is delighted at the prospect of teaming up with Karim Benzema in the French side at next months European Championship.
Real Madrid striker Benzema was included in the squad on Tuesday after he and coach Didier Deschamps resolved their differences. His return ended a six-year absence from the French team, including missing out of their World Cup triumph in Russia in 2018.
‘‘I’m very happy, I’ve always said I wanted to play with great players,” Mbappe said after Wednesday’s French Cup final, where he set up the first goal and added another in Paris St Germain’s 2-0 win over Monaco at the Stade de France.
“There are not a lot of top players in the world better than Benzema.”
Benzema, who has scored 29 goals in all competitions for Real this season, has not played for ‘Les Bleus’ since 2015 after a blackmail scandal over which he faces a trial in October.
He also said in 2016 that Deschamps had “bowed to the pressure of a racist part of France” when leaving the forward out of the Euro squad that year.
But Mbappe said he was all for the return of Benzema.
‘‘He played in Madrid for 10 years. The pressure, he knows, he has the experience, he has the talent above all,’’ Mbappe added.
It’s easy to adapt with the big players. So, I’m sure we will all adapt very quickly.”
In the French Cup final, some quick thinking by Mbappe disposessed Axel Disasi in his own penalty area, as the Monaco defender let a short pass from goalkeeper Radoslaw Majecki slip under his feet, set up a 19th-minute opener for Mauro Icardi.
Mbappe took the ball away and, displaying quick feet, passed square for Icardi to tuck the ball home from close range.
With teammate Neymar suspended and watching from the empty stands, Mbappe was able to dominate the contest with his talent and pace and added the second goal in the 81st minute.
Angel Di Maria set him up with a short through-ball and the World Cup winner lifted his finish over Majecki to make sure of the outcome.
Mbappe’s goal came a minute after he had hit the crossbar with a clever chip from outside the penalty area having spotted Majecki off his line.
It was one of few chances in a largely dour final, played behind closed doors, that only came alive in the last 15 minutes.
PSG retained their title and extended to 14 their record number of wins in the cup. Monaco had won five previous times but last in 1991. They were last in the final in 2010 when PSG also beat them.