Kyle Walker: "It's not England against Mbappe, it's England against France"
France will play England next Saturday as part of the World Cup quarter-finals. Kyle Walker was England international taking on press-conference duties ahead of the matchup between the two champions of the Jules Rimet trophy.
Unsurprisingly, the Manchester City right-back did not escape numerous questions about Kylian Mbappe, who will be his opponent on Saturday.
Already with a past between them (PSG and Manchester City have faced each other in the Champions League at different points in the past few years), the duel is already underway if only around media circles.
The game on Saturday is no slouch, mind you, as France and England will meet and end up with a ticket to the World Cup semi-finals for whoever earns the victory.
Mbappe has been brilliant so far in the tournament scoring 5 goals and assisting 2 goals from his teammates. The PSG forward is on everyone's minds a few days before the match given his glorious run through the Round of 16.
The English press is very attentive to the possible treatment that England might have in store for him considering the Bondy native has hurt every defender he has faced so far in the tournament.
England right-back Kyle Walker considers that Kylian Mbappe is not the only danger on France's team
"I have already met [Mbappe] several times. He had difficult games against me," said a confident Walker. "I understand what I have to do to stop him. It is easier said than done, but I do not underestimate myself," he explained in statements transcribed by Le Parisien.
Walker is the main hope of England when it comes to containing the 23-year-old France international. Walker, a 72-cap international himself, reaffirmed his ambitions by declaring that you "have to give [Mbappe] respect, but not too much," then proceeding to diminish Mbappe's talent in the full context of the France squad by saying "it's not England against Mbappe, it's England against France."
"I'm not going to roll out the red carpet for him and tell him to score. It is a World Cup, it's a matter of life and death. I'm not going home so I'm not going to let him ruin this for my family," said Walker.
Annoyed by the questions about the Frenchman, the defender ended up praising the qualities of the other Les Blues attackers, seemingly trying to move on from the dragging questions about the PSG forward.
"For me, all the questions should not be related to [Mbappe]," said a tired Walker. "I do appreciate that he is a great footballer but there are also others. We must not forget Olivier Giroud, who scored many goals, Ousmane Dembele, and Antoine Griezmann."