‘Immense sadness’: French shootout flop Mbappe apologizes to nation for Swiss defeat as he’s consoled by Pele on Twitter
Mbappe saw his decisive spot kick saved by Swiss stopper Yann Sommer in Bucharest on Monday night, after Switzerland had battled back from 3-1 down to equalize in the last minute of normal time.
After the teams remained locked at 3-3 following extra time, a rollercoaster game would be decided from the 12-yard spot as all nine players scored before PSG forward Mbappe’s effort was saved at full-stretch by Sommer to send the Swiss into the quarter-finals.
The miss from Mbappe capped a miserable tournament in personal terms in which the young star failed to score a single goal despite being tipped beforehand as a potential Golden Boot winner.
With the wounds of defeat still raw, the PSG ace took to social media afterwards to issue an apology to his country.
“It is very difficult to turn the page. The sadness is immense after this elimination, we could not reach our goal,” wrote the 22-year-old wrote.
“I am sorry for this penalty. I wanted to help the team but I failed.
“Finding sleep will be difficult, but unfortunately those are the risks of the sport that I love so much.
“I know that you, the fans, are disappointed, but I would still like to thank you for your support and always believing in us.
“The most important thing is to come back even stronger next time. Congratulations and good luck to the Swiss.”
Some online, including Telegraph journalist Matt Law, suggested that Mbappe had been shunned by his teammates after his miss, although French boss Didier Deschamps said that his team was "united" in victory or defeat.
Why did no France players console Mbappe?— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) June 28, 2021
“Nobody can be annoyed with him,” Deschamps said.
“When you take the responsibility, it can happen. He is obviously very affected by it.”
“Kylian takes responsibility, he feels guilty, but he shouldn’t.
"The squad is united, it always has been.”
There were similar words of comfort from Brazilian icon Pele, who tweeted for Mbappe to “keep his head up.”
“Tomorrow is the first day of a new journey,” wrote the 80-year-old.
Keep your head up, Kylian! Tomorrow is the first day of a new journey, @KMbappe.— Pelé (@Pele) June 28, 2021
Mbappe had rivaled Pele en route to winning the World Cup with France in Russia three years ago.
Then aged 19, Mbappe became the first teenager since the Brazilian icon to score in the final of the tournament as France beat Croatia 4-2 in Moscow.
At the time, Pele joked that he would have to dust off his boots to make a return.