'I need to concentrate': Kylian Mbappe breaks silence over World Cup 2022 fine

Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates after scoring the team's third goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between France and Poland at Al Thumama Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Doha, Qatar.
(Image credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images)

Kylian Mbappe has spoken about the FIFA sanctions he faces at World Cup 2022 (opens in new tab) – for, er, not speaking.

The France (opens in new tab) superstar – who has arguably been the player of the tournament in Qatar so far – landed himself in hot water for his refusal to talk to the press after Les Bleus' 4-1 win over Australia in their opening game.

As such, the French Football Federation (FFF) were threatened with a fine by FIFA if Mbappe repeated his behaviour – which he did after the reigning world champion's very next match, a 2-1 victory against Denmark which secured their place in the knockout stages.

The 23-year-old has said that he will foot the bill for the now seemingly imminent punishment – which he appeared only too happy to take.

Speaking (at last) to the media after bagging a brilliant brace in France's 3-1 last-16 victory against Poland, Mbappe explained (opens in new tab):

"I have nothing against journalists; if I didn't come to talk, it's because I need to fully concentrate on the competition and not waste energy on other things."

France made somewhat heavy work of beating Poland – to ultimately set up a quarter-final showdown with England (opens in new tab), who defeated Senegal 3-0 in their last-16 tie – but Mbappe again proved why many consider him the best player on the planet right now.

He also described the World Cup as his "obsession" as he looks to help his country become the first to retain the trophy since Brazil (opens in new tab) in 1962 – having played a pivotal role in Les Bleus' triumph at Russia 2018, where he scooped FIFA's Best Young Player Award.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...