With an attack that is the envy of most coaches, it seems odd that France is not yet clicking in attack.
Mbappe netted a career-high 42 goals for Paris Saint-Germain this season, while Karim Benzema scored 30 for Real Madrid and moved into a tie for fourth on the all-time list of scorers in the Champions League with 71.
Yet neither has scored so far at Euro 2020.
Benzema is getting more criticism than Mbappe, however, and the players are trying to sound reassuring.
After Antoine Griezmann backed him, so did left back Lucas Digne.
“We all know how good he is, he’s shown it for Real Madrid,” Digne said of Benzema. “He does so much for the team, his movement is great. Nobody in the squad is doubting him.”
France’s attacking options have been reduced by a knee injury to winger Ousmane Dembele, who left the squad on Monday and won’t be replaced.
Ronaldo’s goals have taken him to a record 12 over five continental tournaments, three more than France great Michel Platini.
A hat trick against France would see him break the overall men’s record for international goals, which is held by former Iran striker Ali Daei with 109.
The 36-year-old Ronaldo’s movement remains troublesome for defenders, despite his age. He is adept at cutting in from both flanks, hard to stop running through the middle because of his close control, and dangerous in the air.
“He moves all over the attacking line. As defenders you must always communicate, so you don’t leave him too much space,” Digne said. “It’s extraordinary what he’s done throughout his career. His hard work is an example for any player.”
At least France won’t have to defend against him in the intense sun this time, unlike last Saturday’s mid-afternoon heat and noise against Hungary.
A 9 p.m. kickoff will see to that, but it also offers Ronaldo a chance to dazzle under the lights.
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