Christophe Galtier was seemingly unsurprised by Kylian Mbappe's brutal five-goal display in Paris Saint-Germain's Coupe de France demolition of Pays de Cassel on Monday.

PSG eased into the last 16 of the competition with an emphatic 7-0 victory at Lens' Stade Bollaert-Delelis, with Mbappe involved in all but one of their goals.

The sixth-tier opposition – who were technically the home team – did not look overawed and played some attractive football during the early stages, but the floodgates opened once Mbappe put PSG ahead with 29 minutes played.

It was 4-0 by half-time, with Mbappe netting three and setting up Neymar – the France forward added another two after the break to become the first player in PSG history to score five times in one match.

Carlos Soler – the scorer of PSG's other goal – also impressed, but it was Mbappe and Neymar whom Galtier focused on.

"Kylian Mbappe's a goalscorer, he's obsessed with goals and attacking," the coach told beIN SPORTS.

"I'm not going to say he's going to gain confidence [from scoring five goals], but he's up to his standard.

"It was important for him and Neymar to play the full game. They combined a lot and looked for each other a lot. It was good for them."

Such a contest represented the risk of a major shock for PSG, but there was never any real danger of a defeat as the Parisians produced a thoroughly professional display.

Mbappe believes that reflected the respect they have for lower-league opposition.

"We're happy, we came to qualify and respect this team," he said.

"Respect means playing at our level. We're happy. It was a great opportunity for [Pays de Cassel], and for us because we also come from amateur football.

"We are very happy to come and play, and it is an important competition for Paris Saint-Germain."

On the other side of things, Pays de Cassel coach Samuel Goethals spoke of his pride despite the heavy defeat, highlighting how playing in front of such a crowd was by no means a regular occurrence.

"It's still a source of great pride," he added. "The game was complicated, we did things within our means. I'm super proud of the group.

"We knew the balance of power was going to be very unbalanced, and it was unprecedented for each of us to play in front of 35,000 people, but I saw a yellow and black stadium, it was magnificent to experience.

"You have to be real, we are in Regional One, the sixth division, we are amateurs, and this was seen on the field. I would have preferred that we conceded one or two goals less, but [the match's speed] was too fast."

Kylian Mbappe became the first Paris Saint-Germain player to score five goals in a match as his side eased into the last 16 of the Coupe de France with a 7-0 win over sixth-tier Pays de Cassel on Monday.

The lowest-ranked side left in the competition, Pays de Cassel did not look overawed at Stade Bollaert-Delelis – the home of Lens – but PSG's vastly superior quality unsurprisingly soon shone through.

An 11-minute first-half spell saw the Ligue 1 leaders roar into an unassailable 4-0 lead, with Mbappe scoring three and setting up Neymar.

Mbappe continued his brutal exhibition after half-time with a couple of close-range goals either side of Carlos Soler's impudent finish.

Pays de Cassel gave a good account of themselves initially, putting together some intricate passing moves that brought huge cheers around their home away from home.

But PSG's breakthrough eventually arrived in the 29th minute as Mbappe met Nuno Mendes' cut-back and found the net via a significant deflection.

He then released Neymar to make it 2-0, the Brazilian dazzling the defence with his quick feet before firing left-footed through goalkeeper Romain Samson's legs.

Samson could only watch as Mbappe brought up his hat-trick before half-time with a pair of sumptuous chips.

But the keeper was culpable 10 minutes into the second half, completely missing Neymar's pass and allowing Mbappe a tap-in.

More great work by Neymar just after the hour left Soler to backheel over the line from a couple of yards out.

Soler was involved again 11 minutes from time as Mbappe completed the scoring with another poacher's effort from the Spaniard's cross.

 

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe may have faced off against one another in the World Cup final in Qatar, but they line up in the same XI in FIFA 23's Team of the Year.

While Mbappe scored a hat-trick in the tournament's showpiece match, it was Messi's Argentina who lifted the World Cup for a third time with a penalty shoot-out victory following a 3-3 draw after extra-time.

The Paris Saint-Germain team-mates have both made FIFA 23's Team of the Year, though, with the selections made from over 10 million votes from fans.

Despite Argentina's World Cup win, Messi is the only player from Lionel Scaloni's team to be included, with Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema completing the front three after scoring 44 goals in 46 matches in the 2021-22 season to help Real Madrid to a LaLiga title and Champions League win.

Kevin De Bruyne finished third in the Ballon d'Or rankings and is part of the midfield, alongside the evergreen Madrid star Luka Modric and Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham, with the latter playing a key role for England at the World Cup at the age of just 19.

The Madrid theme running through the line-up continues at the back, with Thibaut Courtois between in goal and Eder Militao at the heart of the defence.

Virgil van Dijk joins Militao, while Theo Hernandez and Achraf Hakimi, who enjoyed excellent World Cups with France and Morocco respectively, fill the full-back roles.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice yet Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe helped Paris Saint-Germain defeat Riyadh All-Stars 5-4 in a thrilling friendly.

The exhibition at King Fahd International Stadium on Thursday saw 21 shots on target, nine goals, a red card for Juan Bernat and a penalty miss from Neymar.

Having had his debut for new club Al Nassr delayed due to a domestic ban carried over from his time at Manchester United, Ronaldo's first game since moving to Saudi Arabia came for a hybrid XI that also contained players from Al Hilal.

It set up a reunion with long-time rival and fellow multiple Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi in what was their first meeting on the pitch of any sort since Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in the Champions League group stage in 2020.

Messi came out on top in terms of scoreline in this 37th encounter between the pair, with PSG pulling away in a game that the hosts levelled on three occasions, but Ronaldo outscored the 2022 World Cup winner.

Neymar, Mbappe and Messi all combined for the latter to open the scoring inside the opening three minutes, but Ronaldo equalised from a penalty he himself won after being caught in the face by Keylor Navas.

PSG lost Bernat to a straight red card for his last-man challenge just inside the opposition half, though they were soon back in front through a close-range Marquinhos finish from Mbappe's assist.

Neymar missed the chance to extend PSG's lead when having a tame penalty saved, and that proved costly when Ronaldo glanced in a trademark header on the stroke of half-time.

PSG still could not shake off their opponents after Sergio Ramos' strike, teed up by Mbappe, was cancelled out by Jang Hyun-soo's header less than three minutes later.

Mbappe capped an impressive display with a goal of his own from the penalty spot on the hour mark. He was then subbed off, along with Messi, Neymar and Ronaldo.

The tempo of the game dropped from that point but the entertainment continued until full-time as Anderson Talisca pulled back a late goal after Hugo Ekitike had seemingly put PSG out of sight, though the Riyadh All-Stars could not equalise for a fifth time.

Christophe Galtier sucked up another painful Ligue 1 defeat for Paris Saint-Germain and told his World Cup stars they must find their focus again.

PSG began the year with a seven-point lead at the top of Ligue 1, but that has been clipped to three after defeats to Lens and now Rennes, who beat the Parisians 1-0 on Sunday.

Head coach Galtier will face scrutiny for such domestic losses, given the superstars at his disposal, and he knows he and the team must start to show their best again.

Galtier told Prime Video: "I'm mainly disappointed with our performance. We didn't create anything, we had very few favourable situations.

"We focused on having possession of the ball and we had far too many players who dropped back without having players high enough to secure the Rennes defensive line."

PSG had only eight attempts on goal, their lowest total in a league game this season, and only one went on target. The defeat was a third in their last four trips to Rennes in the league, with the Breton side firmly established as a bogey side for the capital giants.

Galtier pointed to issues with Lionel Messi and Neymar having no obvious targets when looking to move the ball forward, and that situation persisted when Kylian Mbappe came on as a substitute early in the second half, replacing the ineffective Hugo Etikike.

The former Lille, Saint-Etienne and Nice coach said there was an "urgent" need for PSG to get back on track.

"Obviously we're going to have to find a lot more play and connection between the lines," he said. "We knew we would have a difficult match, and we had it. The opposing goalkeeper was barely troubled. We need to find a lot more rhythm, intensity and technical relationship between one another.

"I'm not going to talk about worry, but there has to be awareness. We can find a thousand excuses, but the World Cup is over.

"Even if we have been dispersed for eight weeks, we need to find cohesion and rhythm in our game."

PSG will head to Saudi Arabia next to face a Riyadh Season Team, made up of players from Al Hilal and Al Nassr, in an exhibition game on Thursday.

Al Nassr's new signing Cristiano Ronaldo could be involved in that game, but Galtier wants intense focus from his players when they get a chance to train on the getaway.

They do not have another Ligue 1 game until Reims visit the Parc des Princes on January 29, although there is a Coupe de France tie against minnows Pays de Cassel on January 23.

"We will have 10 days to work," Galtier said.

Lens are their nearest challengers, but Marseille are only five points adrift of PSG.

"The championship is tight," Galtier said. "I'm not used to looking at the standings but I'm concentrating on performance and I have work to do."

Warren Zaire-Emery, at the age of 16 years and 313 days, became the youngest player in PSG's history to start a Ligue 1 match. He played 72 minutes before being replaced by Carlos Soler.

Galtier will gather his players to show them video comparisons with how the team are performing now and how they played prior to the World Cup.

Mbappe was the World Cup's top scorer, while Messi brilliantly captained Argentina to the trophy, being named player of the tournament. Such form has been mostly lacking since resuming PSG duties, but they are not the only ones culpable.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who was absent from Qatar 2022 after Italy failed to qualify, said PSG's players are furious by their collective drop-off in performance.

"We are angry, and we have to bounce back immediately after this match, from this defeat, because we have no more time to lose," Donnarumma said, quoted on the club's website.

"It was an avoidable loss. They didn't have many chances but we should have done more. We have to learn from this game. We are upset, but now we have to focus on the next game."

Kylian Mbappe fluffed a golden chance on his 200th Ligue 1 appearance as leaders Paris Saint-Germain stumbled to a 1-0 defeat against bogey team Rennes.

Hamari Traore stunned the capital city giants by breaking the deadlock in the 65th minute with a clinical left-footed strike, his first league goal of the season.

Substitute Mbappe squandered a clear opportunity for a leveller after being played in behind the Rennes defence soon afterwards, sweeping a powerful shot over the bar when he only had Steve Mandanda to beat.

PSG pushed for a leveller, but Rennes had their number once again at Roazhon Park, which has been the way of things in recent seasons.

The visitors' threat was stifled in the first half, and the best chance fell to Rennes striker Arnaud Kalimuendo, whose volley from 10 yards was blocked by Gianluigi Donnarumma. The Italian also later saved well from Amine Gouiri.

Lionel Messi was not at his sharpest, sending one shot from 20 yards soaring high over the crossbar and failing to hit the target with any of his three goal attempts before the break.

Neymar was similarly subdued, but PSG had a weapon up their sleeve with Mbappe among their substitutes.

Danilo Pereira looked to have squandered a big chance when Mandanda parried his close-range header early in the second half, but the defender, making his 100th PSG appearance, was one of three players offside in the build-up.

Coach Christophe Galtier sent on Mbappe and Achraf Hakimi in the 55th minute, as Hugo Ekitike and Nordi Mukiele made way. However, the opening goal went to Rennes, with captain Traore lashing a stabbed cutback from Adrien Truffert low and past the reaches of Donnarumma from 12 yards.

Mbappe then missed woefully after connecting with a long pass from Messi, and try as they might, the visitors could not find a way back to level terms.

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe are among the leading candidates for The Best FIFA Men's Player award after unsurprisingly being named on the 14-strong list of nominees on Thursday.

FIFA's awards ceremony will take place on February 27 and recognise the sport's high achievers from 2022 across several categories, with The Best FIFA Men's Player prize being the headline attraction.

Messi, who won the 2019 award and came a close second to Robert Lewandowski for 2021, will be the firm favourite after inspiring Argentina to World Cup success.

It was the Albiceleste's first such title since 1986, and Messi played a crucial role in the triumph as Argentina beat France on penalties after a 3-3 draw last month.

Messi scored five goals and set up another three to win himself the Golden Ball, and he nearly took home the Golden Boot as well.

Of course, his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Kylian Mbappe won the latter prize thanks to his hat-trick against Argentina in the dramatic final, and he will likely be Messi's closest rival.

Had it not been a World Cup year, Manchester City's Erling Haaland might have fancied his chances of staking a claim after a sensational start to life in the Premier League.

Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema is among the nominees and may be expecting a top-three finish after carrying Real Madrid to another Champions League crown, though his lack of World Cup involvement could prove detrimental.

Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti is in the running for The Best FIFA Men's Coach gong, though Argentina's Lionel Scaloni will likely be the favourite of the five-man shortlist.

Argentina are also represented in The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper category by Emiliano Martinez among the five nominees.

For the women's prizes, Euro 2022 champions England have several nominations.

Beth Mead, Keira Walsh and Leah Williamson are all up for the players' award; Sarina Wiegman will be the favourite for the coaches' accolade; and Mary Earps is in contention to be named The Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper.

The voting process will involve international captains and coaches, journalists, and fans selecting their winners in the various categories.

Voting closes on February 3 and FIFA will announce three finalists from each section thereafter.

NOMINATIONS

The Best FIFA Men's Player
Julian Alvarez (Argentina/River Plate/Manchester City)
Jude Bellingham (England/Borussia Dortmund) 
Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid) 
Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City)
Erling Haaland (Norway/ Borussia Dortmund/Manchester City)
Achraf Hakimi (Morocco/Paris Saint-Germain) 
Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Bayern Munich/Barcelona)
Sadio Mane (Senegal/Liverpool/Bayern Munich)
Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris Saint-Germain)
Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain)
Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid)
Neymar (Brazil/Paris Saint-Germain)
Mohamed Salah (Egypt/Liverpool) 
Vinicius Junior (Brazil/Real Madrid)

The Best FIFA Men's Coach
Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/Real Madrid)
Didier Deschamps (France/French National Team)
Pep Guardiola (Spain/Manchester City) 
Walid Regragui (Morocco/Wydad AC/Moroccan National Team)
Lionel Scaloni (Argentina/Argentinian National Team) 

The Best FIFA Men's Goalkeeper
Alisson Becker (Brazil/Liverpool) 
Yassine Bounou (Morocco/Sevilla)
Thibaut Courtois (Belgium/Real Madrid)
Ederson (Brazil/Manchester City)
Emiliano Martinez (Argentina/Aston Villa) 

The Best FIFA Women's Player: 
Aitana Bonmatí (Spain/Barcelona)
Debinha (Brazil/North Carolina Courage)
Jessie Fleming (Canada/Chelsea)
Ada Hegerberg (Norway/Lyon)
Sam Kerr (Australia/Chelsea)
Beth Mead (England/Arsenal)
Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands/Arsenal)
Alex Morgan (United States/Orlando Pride/San Diego Wave)
Lena Oberdorf (Germany/Wolfsburg)
Alexandra Popp (Germany/Wolfsburg)
Alexia Putellas (Spain/Barcelona)
Wendie Renard (France/Lyon)
Keira Walsh (England/Manchester City/Barcelona)
Leah Williamson (England/Arsenal)

The Best FIFA Women's Coach
Sonia Bompastor (France/Lyon) 
Emma Hayes (England/Chelsea)
Bev Priestman (England/Canadian National Team)
Pia Sundhage (Sweden/Brazilian National Team)
Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (Germany/German National Team)
Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands / English National Team)

The Best FIFA Women's Goalkeeper
Ann-Katrin Berger (Germany/Chelsea Women)
Mary Earps (England/Manchester United) 
Christiane Endler (Chile/Lyon)
Merle Frohms (Germany/Eintracht Frankfurt /Wolfsburg)
Alyssa Naeher (United States/Chicago Red Stars)
Sandra Panos Garca-Villamil (Spain/Barcelona)

Didier Deschamps criticised Noel Le Graet's "inappropriate" comments regarding Zinedine Zidane after the French Football Federation (FFF) president stepped away from his role on Wednesday.

Le Graet has withdrawn from his duties pending a French government investigation into the governing body, with French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera calling for change at the top of the organisation. 

That news came just three days after Le Graet caused controversy with his bizarre comments about Zidane in the aftermath of Deschamps signing a new four-year deal as France coach.

Zidane was linked with Deschamps' job following last month's World Cup final defeat to Argentina, but Le Graet said he would not "give a toss" if the former Real Madrid coach expressed an interest in leading the national team.

While Le Graet subsequently apologised, his comments were labelled as disrespectful by Kylian Mbappe and were also seen as distasteful by Deschamps.

"His words, as he acknowledged and admitted, were inappropriate," Deschamps said when asked about Le Graet on Wednesday. "I think it's a very good thing that he apologised to Zizou."

Deschamps then acknowledged constant speculation linking Zidane with his job had created a rivalry between the two coaches, who played together for Juventus and the national team.

"The sporting situation has led to a rivalry between the two of us. Even, for some, an opposition," he said of his relationship with Zidane.

"I will always have a lot of respect for him in relation to what we shared together in our first life as players, and for who he is, what he represents in football and French sports."

While Deschamps will lead France at a fourth World Cup in 2026 after penning his new deal, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will not be present in the United States, Mexico and Canada after announcing his international retirement.

Deschamps was sorry to see his captain call time on his international career, saying: "I spoke at length with Hugo, I know him very well. I will not go into details. 

"When a person is driven by a deep conviction, he does not make a decision on a whim. It was carefully thought out. I understand his decision, even if I regret it. 

"He is someone who has been very important to the France team both on a human and a sporting level. We will miss him, but it is his decision, and we must say thank you for all he has done."

Noel Le Graet has stepped back from his role as French Football Federation (FFF) president amid a government investigation into the organisation.

Le Graet has been in position since 2011 but has come under increasing pressure to quit.

The French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera has called for change at the top of the FFF, while leading agent Sonia Souid accused Le Graet of improper conduct.

In an RMC interview, Souid outlined how her belief was that in their dealings from 2013 to 2017, Le Graet saw her as an object of his sexual desire. Le Graet and the FFF did not immediately respond to Souid's allegations.

The 81-year-old has also been accused of improper conduct in relation to female employees. The FFF filed a defamation suit against So Foot magazine, the publication in which these allegations were made.

The French government opened an investigation into the matter in September, but Le Graet caused further controversy week with his bizarre comments about Zinedine Zidane in the wake of confirming Didier Deschamps' new contract as France coach.

Kylian Mbappe was among those to criticise Le Graet, who said he would not "give a toss" if Zidane called about the possibility of taking over Les Bleus.

Le Graet has since apologised but on Wednesday reports emerged that he had been suspended as president.

The FFF subsequently confirmed Le Graet had "chosen to withdraw from his duties as president" until the government investigation had been concluded.

Florence Hardouin, the FFF's general manager, has also stepped down in what a statement called a "precautionary measure".

Philippe Diallo, who was serving as deputy vice president, will fill both roles on an interim basis.

Kylian Mbappe spoke from the heart when defending Zinedine Zidane from sniping by French Football Federation chief Noel Le Graet, according to Paris Saint-Germain boss Christophe Galtier.

Le Graet is facing calls to quit as FFF president after coming under fire for a bizarre comment about France great Zidane, and allegations about his leadership.

The 81-year-old Le Graet told RMC he did not "give a toss" where the 1998 World Cup winner went in his next coaching job, and added he would not answer the phone to the former midfielder.

Former Real Madrid head coach Zidane had been thought to be a likely contender for the France post if coach Didier Deschamps had decided to leave after the recent World Cup in Qatar.

It was instead announced Deschamps would be staying on until the 2026 World Cup, signing a new contract.

France star forward Mbappe delivered a clear and powerful rebuke to the federation president, writing on Twitter: "Zidane is France, we don't disrespect the legend like that..."

While Galtier did not wish to pile on further criticism of Le Graet, the PSG head coach also made it clear he did not agree with the comments from the veteran federation boss either, and understood why Mbappe took his stance.

"Zinedine Zidane deserves the respect of everybody," Galtier said in a PSG press conference on Tuesday.

"He was an extraordinary player for the France team and a brilliant coach who has won the Champions League three times.

"The words that were said have created a strong reaction. I'm not going to comment on those words. I will simply say Zinedine Zidane deserves huge respect from everyone."

Galtier added: "Kylian Mbappe is a great guy. I haven't spoken to him about this. That is away from the context of PSG.

"He expressed himself in his own way with his heart, so that is what he said, and I am not surprised that Kylian Mbappe wanted to defend Zinedine Zidane. I know he has a huge respect for Zinedine Zidane."

The French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera has called for change at the top of the FFF, while leading agent Sonia Souid accused Le Graet of improper conduct.

In an RMC interview, Souid outlined how her belief was that in their dealings from 2013 to 2017, Le Graet saw her as an object of his sexual desire.

Le Graet and the FFF did not immediately respond to Souid's allegations.

Kylian Mbappe would be taking on "a huge responsibility" if he becomes the new France captain, after Hugo Lloris retired from international football.

That is the verdict of Paris Saint-Germain head coach Christophe Galtier, who steered clear of either recommending the role to Mbappe or putting any pressure on national coach Didier Deschamps.

At the age of 24, Mbappe has already won 66 caps for Les Bleus, scoring 36 goals in the process.

He won the World Cup in 2018 and scored a hat-trick against Argentina in the 2022 final but painfully finished on the losing team.

PSG striker Mbappe appears an obvious candidate, but he may not aspire to the captaincy, which Lloris held for 10 years.

Manchester United defender Raphael Varane is another strong contender for the role, according to reports in France, having served as vice-captain at the World Cup.

Galtier said on Tuesday: "I'm not the national team coach. I'm not going to get involved in the France captain discussion. Sometimes, the France captain is of a certain age with a certain number of caps.

"Kylian Mbappe has got many under his belt and many incredible performances. I haven't spoken to Kylian Mbappe about whether he will be the France captain or not.

"Of course, that is a huge responsibility. It is not me who will decide who the captain will be. Even without the armband, he is a leader."

French Football Federation president Noel Le Graet has been accused of misconduct by player agent Sonia Souid, who has joined mounting calls for him to stand down.

Souid claimed Le Graet's conduct towards her indicated he considered her as "two breasts and an ass", but she doubts he will give up office.

France's sports minister, Amelie Oudea-Castera, has called for new leadership at the FFF, and French Amateur Football Association (AFFA) president Eric Thomas also says the time has come for Le Graet to go.

Souid's allegations against Le Graet concern a period from 2013 to 2017, when she claims the now 81-year-old took advantage of his power.

She told French broadcaster RMC of agreeing to meet with Le Graet at his home on one occasion.

"During this meeting, he told me clearly that if we were closer, my ideas would materialise," she said. "In any case, he would be much more motivated to help me in this meaning.

"And there in fact, I take a huge slap. Because I have my president of the French Football Federation who sees me... while I feel competent and legitimate because I have managed to do things even in difficulty, excuse me for the term, but my president sees me as two breasts and an ass in fact.

"I was disappointed by my president. For me, my president must be exemplary. And he was not."

She added: "I don't think he's brave enough to resign. Do I think he can stay at the helm of the FFF? Yes, he can. But should he? No. I honestly think he's had his time."

Stats Perform has asked the FFF for a response to the allegations made by Souid.

Le Graet apologised on Monday to being accused by Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid of disrespecting Zinedine Zidane, following comments made once it was confirmed Didier Deschamps would be staying on as France head coach.

The FFF president had said he would not pick up the phone if former France playmaker and Ballon d'Or winner Zidane called him to discuss coaching the national team.

Oudea-Castera said on Monday: "Our great players deserve better than what they have at the head of their federation."

AFFA president Thomas said the remarks about Zidane marked a tipping point. They came before the allegations from Souid.

Thomas said: "These comments towards Zinedine Zidane are inexcusable, inadmissible and irresponsible.

"A president of a federation should not say that. These speeches flout the values ​​of sport, that is why the AFFA demands the resignation of the president of the FFF.

French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet has apologised after being accused by Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid of disrespecting Zinedine Zidane.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe was one of many to take aim at Le Graet over comments he made after it was confirmed Didier Deschamps is staying on as France head coach.

Le Graet said he did not care whether Zidane, who had been strongly tipped to succeed Deschamps, ended up taking on another job.

The 81-year-old also said he would not pick up the phone if former midfielder Zidane called him to discuss coaching the national team.

Many called for Le Graet to apologise, with Mbappe posting on Twitter: "Zidane is France, we don't disrespect the legend like that..."

Madrid issued a statement on Monday criticising the "unfortunate comments".

Los Blancos also referenced previous remarks made by Le Graet regarding striker Karim Benzema, who recently announced his retirement from international duty.

Madrid's condemnation was swiftly followed by Le Graet releasing a statement of his own in which he attempted a U-turn.

"These awkward remarks created a misunderstanding," said Le Graet, who has been FFF president since June 2011.

"I'd like to present my personal apologies for these remarks which absolutely do not reflect my thoughts, nor my consideration for the player he was and the coach he's become."

Zidane has been out of work since leaving Madrid in May 2021, having led Los Blancos to three Champions Leagues and two LaLiga titles across two spells in charge.

As a player, Zidane earned 108 caps for France and helped his country win the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championship two years later.

The 50-year-old has also been touted as a candidate to take over as head coach of Brazil, while the United States are reported to have made an approach.

Kylian Mbappe has accused Noel Le Graet of disrespecting Zinedine Zidane after the French Football Federation president's dismissive response to suggestions the former Real Madrid coach could join Brazil.

On Saturday, it was announced Didier Deschamps had signed a new four-year contract as France head coach, allowing him to lead Les Bleus at a fourth World Cup in 2026.

Former France talisman Zidane had been linked with his country's top job on several occasions, including in the aftermath of their World Cup final defeat against Argentina last month.

However, with that position set to be occupied for the foreseeable future, Zidane has been suggested as a potential candidate to succeed Tite as Brazil's head coach.

Asked about speculation linking Zidane with the Selecao on Sunday, Le Graet told RMC he did not "give a toss" where the 1998 World Cup winner went and added he would not answer the phone to the former midfielder.

Those comments attracted criticism from star player Mbappe, who wrote on Twitter: "Zidane is France, we don't disrespect the legend like that..."

Zidane has been out of work since leaving Madrid in 2021, having led Los Blancos to three Champions League triumphs and two LaLiga titles across two spells at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Erik ten Hag joked he may need to crowdsource funds from young Manchester United fans when asked if the club would sign Jude Bellingham and Kylian Mbappe.

United are expected to bolster their ranks during the January transfer window, as they continue to cement their revival under Ten Hag.

Moves for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Bellingham and Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe, however, are unlikely to be on the table.

That hasn't stopped supporters quizzing Ten Hag on a deal for either player, to which the manager joked he may need more than just the backing of the board to pursue any move.

"I want to," he told a group of young fans who asked him whether he could buy the pair. "Have you any pennies for me?"

United will not be needing to dip into the pockets of their fanbase to fulfil any moves this window, though quite who Ten Hag will bring through the door remains to be seen.

Jack Butland has been brought in on loan from Crystal Palace to replace Martin Dubravka, who has returned to Newcastle United, while United are also said to be interested in Wout Weghorst, the striker who is on loan at Besiktas from Burnley.

England midfielder Bellingham is widely tipped to depart Dortmund later this year, with Liverpool, Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City all said to be keen.

France attacker Mbappe only extended his stay with PSG ahead in May last year.

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