L’Équipe are reporting that Manchester United centre-back Raphaël Varane (29) and Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappé (24) are both in contention to succeed Hugo Lloris (36) as France captain.
Lloris became Les Bleus’ most-capped player during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, passing Lillian Thuram. However, on Monday, the Nice-born goalkeeper announced his retirement from international football, after featuring 145 times for his country, of which he captained 121.
Naturally, one of the biggest questions following the announcement is who will take the captain’s armband for Les Bleus going forward. According to L’Équipe, Varane is the natural successor having been vice-captain at the Qatar World Cup. He has the advantage of being younger than candidates such as Steve Mandanda (37), Olivier Giroud (36), and Antoine Griezmann (31).
Under Didier Deschamps, Presnel Kimpembe (27) has captained Les Bleus twice, but his starting spot in the team has been thrown into doubt with the emergence of younger centre-back options.
Despite his age, Mbappé is also a candidate for the captaincy. His half-time team talk during the World Cup final against Argentina has been described by L’Équipe as a “captain’s speech.” Should Mbappé take the armband, he wouldn’t be the youngest to do so, as Lloris captained France against England at the age of 23. Mbappé also already has 66 appearances to his name for France and could be seen as an option that unites the older and younger generations.