AS Monaco midfielder Youssouf Fofana had the time to sit with the French media outlet and Ile-de-France newspaper Le Parisien to touch on different topics while in Qatar with the France squad contending for the World Cup.
In an interview published on Thursday, young midfield from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco, Youssouf Fofana felt confident enough to say that he feels "like it's the start of the competition" ahead of the quarter-finals clash with England.
Asked about the France vs. England rivalry that the media is trying to hype ahead of Saturday's match, Fofana thinks that "[England] are just our neighbors, geographically," and that both countries are "close in their cultures."
Other than that, Fofana conceded that England "are a great team with incredible individuals."
Youssouf Fofana joked about Kyle Walker comments about knowing how to stop Kylian Mbappe
Perhaps the greatest indiviudal performer involved in Saturday's matchup, though, will be on France's side: Kylian Mbappe, scorer of five goals and assister of two more throught the Round of 16, is surely the headliner of the even.
"There are 19 teams still looking for a solution (to defending Mbappe) in Ligue 1," said Fofana when offered Kyle Walker's comments about stopping the France world champion. "It is to his credit if he knows how to contain Mbappe."
Fofana is the first one to recognize that "as French people, we have full confidence in Kylian."
Of course, Fofana is right in having such a confidence in one of the best players in world football these days playing for his country and on his team. That said, France is facing a supremely talented squad in England's on Saturday for a ticket to the semi-finals of no less than a World Cup.
England's leading man, Jude Bellingham, got some love from Fofana as the France international said that he is "progressing enormously" and that there will be "a nice duel of youngsters" between Bellingham and France midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni. "It will be a very important duel," according to Fofana.
Finally, asked about Mbappe's current mental frame (Ed: Kylian Mbappe has skipped press conferences and avoided interaction with the media through the World Cup), Fofana said that Mbappe "doesn't pay attention to the press," that he "doesn't care what [media] say about him," and that the PSG forward just "concentrates on his game."
"To me, Mbappe is very calm and determined," offered Fofana.