Paul Pogba has moved to dispel rumours of a rift within the France camp after Olivier Giroud’s pointed message towards Kylian Mbappe.
Giroud came off the bench during Les Bleus’ final warm-up game for Euro 2020, following an injury to Karim Benzema.
The Chelsea striker made an immediate impact, scoring twice as the pre-tournament favourites ran out 4-0 winners.
Despite his brace, Giroud was left visibly frustrated and appeared to take aim at Mbappe for not being picked out as he made runs.
“I was a little quiet because, sometimes, I make runs and the balls aren’t forthcoming,” Giroud explained.
“I am not saying that I always make the best runs but I am seeking to offer solutions in the box.”
Reports in France have subsequently claimed that the Paris Saint-Germain superstar was left incensed at Giroud’s comments and threatened to release a statement to the media.
That request was denied by manager Didier Deschamps, who quickly attempted to cool down any tensions.
“If you received the ball after each time you called for it, it is always the same,” he said.
“The attacker says: ‘I am making runs, but it’s on the midfield.’ The midfielders will say that it is on the attackers. Sometimes, the pass isn’t forthcoming, sometimes it is down the movement. But this is not a stigmatisation of Kylian or whoever.”
Deschamps is desperate to keep his squad united as they look to replicate the feats of the France team from the turn of the century.
With Deschamps as captain, France won the World Cup in 1998, before going on to win the European Championship two years later.
However, reports of a rift means there is a fear they could instead replicate Raymond Domenech’s infamous 2010 squad that were dumped out in the group stages amid major rifts between the players.
Ahead of their opener with Germany in Munich, Paul Pogba has now backed up Deschamps’ comments, claiming that Giroud’s comments may have been misconstrued.
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Asked about any ill feelings within the squad, Pogba said: “No, the only tension is on the back and legs!
“There is always a great atmosphere with everyone. Between Olivier and Kylian, there is nothing. Or at least there has been nothing in front of me.
“Maybe what was said was conveyed incorrectly.
“Kylian passes everyone, I don’t think Olivier’s message was that one. There is nothing at all.”
Meanwhile, with Benzema back in the France squad for the first time since 2015, Pogba has warned their Euro 2020 rivals that they are a much stronger outfit than the one which won the World Cup in Russia three years ago.
He added: “For sure we have a group of world class players and we added another big weapon, Karim Benzema.
“Everybody knows it. For sure with Karim Benzema the team automatically becomes stronger (than the 2018 World Cup).”