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More changes to Mbappé face mask as France star's Euro 2024 problems persist


DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Kylian Mbappé has had more masks than goals at the European Championship.

The France captain is struggling with his peripheral vision in the masks that were fitted to protect his broken nose from his country's opening game at Euro 2024.

He wore a third different mask on Monday in the 1-0 win against Belgium in the round of 16. The striker failed to hit the target in five attempts on goal against Belgium.

He has only one goal in the tournament.

“You’ve got the sweat aspect and we know sweat can get in his eyes. He’s getting used to it, but it can affect his vision," coach Didier Deschamps said. “Everything in front of him is fine, but there’s a delay with his peripheral vision.”

Mbappé broke his nose in an aerial collision with Austria's Kevin Danso, and has described the mask-wearing experience as “an absolute horror.”

His only score so far was a penalty against Poland. “I saw people but I had the feeling it was not me that was playing,” he said after that game.

Mbappé was initially fitted with a custom-made mask that was designed in the colors of the French flag. But UEFA rules state protective equipment has to be a single color, and he switched to an all black version against Poland.

He changed it again for the knockout game against Belgium with a version that appeared to be more custom-cut to the contours of his face. It also had more ventilation than his previous masks and was held on with one strap, rather than two.

But it didn't seem to make a lot of difference, with Mbappé's shooting often wide of the mark.

It could be a problem for Real Madrid if Mbappé still requires a mask at the start of next season after he completed a move to the Spanish giant last month.

Before that, Mbappé and France have a quarterfinal against Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal on Friday.

It is the first time World Cup winner Mbappé has gone this far at a Euros after France lost in the last 16 in 2021 to Switzerland after a penalty shootout.


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