Emi Martinez and Manchester United star react to Kylian Mbappe claiming European Championship is more difficult to win than FIFA World Cup

France forward Kylian Mbappe (L) and Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez (R)
France forward Kylian Mbappe (L) and Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez (R)

Kylian Mbappe’s recent comments claiming that the UEFA European Championship is harder to win than the FIFA World Cup have irked several South American players. Argentine stars Emiliano Martinez and Lisandro Martinez, who won the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, have now hit back at the French superstar.

The Euros are set to kick off on Friday, June 14, with Mbappe's France among the favorites to lift the trophy next month. The 25-year-old will be looking to get his hands on another major international title ahead of his move to Real Madrid.

After linking up with the French national team this week, Kylian Mbappe said (via United in Focus):

“I have always felt the same way. It is a really very complicated competition. For me, the Euro is more difficult than the World Cup, even though there is much more pressure in a World Cup.”

The French forward added that Argentina and Brazil do not play high-level matches in their campaigns to qualify for the World Cup.

“In South America, football is not as advanced as in Europe. And that is why when you look at the last World Cups it is always the Europeans who win,” the Frenchman added.

With Argentina also gearing up for their Copa America defense, Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez has joined the rest of the squad in the USA. At a recent press conference, he was asked to respond to Mbappe’s comments.

“I will leave his opinion to him. I have a different opinion. I just don’t underestimate, all competitions are difficult to win,” Lisandro Martinez said.

Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, whose antics after the World Cup final against France have made him a divisive figure, echoed his teammate’s views. He said:

“No, there is nothing more difficult than a World Cup. We all know that."

How has Kylian Mbappe fared at the Euros?

France forward Kylian Mbappe
France forward Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe made his Euros debut at the 2020 edition when France were pitted against Germany, Portugal and Hungary in Group F. The tournament took place in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mbappe scored and assisted in the first game against Germany, although both goals were ruled offside. France went on to win the game 1-0 courtesy of a Mats Hummels own goal.

France’s second game against Hungary ended in a 1-1 draw. Attila Fiola scored for Hungary, with Antoine Griezmann equalizing for France. Les Bleus’ final game against Portugal was also a draw, with a Cristiano Ronaldo brace being canceled out by a Karim Benzema double.

France topped their group and faced Switzerland in the round of 16. Mbappe assisted Karim Benzema’s first goal in the game, which ended in a 3-3 draw after 120 minutes. The former PSG and Monaco forward missed the decisive fifth penalty in the ensuing shootout as France were eliminated.

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