Mbappé against six opposing players during the France-England quarter-final? It’s photoshopped

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Since the France-England quarter-final of the World Cup on 10 December 2022, Internet users have been sharing a photo en masse on Twitter and Facebook that is supposed to show Blues star Kylian Mbappé dealing with six English players. But it is a photomontage broadcast for the first time, before the match, by a sports media to illustrate the “anti-Mbappé plan” concocted by the English team to stop the attacker’s champion.

Shared during the France-England quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup or immediately after the final whistle, a photo allegedly taken during this match spread very quickly on social networks on Saturday 10 December 2022.

We see Kylian Mbappé, in the foreground, dribbling between Kyle Walker and Declan Rice, while four other English players, behind him, also seem taken aback by the player.

The English team had in fact fielded an impressive defense to counter Mbappé for their quarter-final against the Blues on 10 December in Qatar. Scorer in his first four appearances in the tournament, the Blues striker also found himself without solutions against the dense English defence.

The Blues still won 2-1, thanks to a goal from Aurélien Tchouaméni and one from Olivier Giroud.

However, the scene that is supposed to show six Englishmen pitting Mbappé at the same time is a montage, although many publications claim otherwise.

Do you really think it’s a montage for a magazine cover“,”this is not a montage, valve end“, underline the captions of two tweets (1, 2) on December 10 having amassed more than 50,000 likes and thousands of shares, while a Facebook posting by TV host Jean-Luc Reichmann – with more than 6,500 shares since December 11 – states that this cliche”it’s not a montage!!

Screenshot captured on Twitter on December 12, 2022.
Screenshot captured on Twitter on December 12, 2022.

But this photo, shared on social media shortly before the match, is a montage.

“Mbappé in a few hours!”

Indeed, a search by the “90 Min” logo visible in the upper left corner of the image reveals that this image was broadcast on the Twitter account of this specialized football media outlet, on December 10 at 11:30 French time – nine hours before France-England kick-off – with caption (in English) “The only way to stop Kylian Mbappé?

At half past midnight the same day, “90 Min” had shared the same montage on its francophone Facebook page with an even more explicit comment: “Mbappé in a few hours!

Contacted by AFP on December 12, “90 Min” had not responded at the time of this article’s publication.

The original photo of Mbappé, during the France-Poland match

An AFP search found the original photo of Mbappé used. The montage uses a snapshot taken by Getty Images during France’s round of 16 match against Poland on December 4, 2022, as can be seen in the agency’s database. It originally featured the star alongside Matty Cash.

Screen capture taken on the Getty Images website on December 12, 2022.

Furthermore, this setup -Mbappé against these six England players -Harry Maguire (6), Luke Shaw (3), Jude Bellingham (22), Jordan Henderson (8), Declan Rice (4) and Kyle Walker (2) – does not it ever happened.

Indeed, since his first selection for France in 2017, Mbappé has only featured in one other France-England match, on 13 June 2017 at the Stade de France.

However, of the six England players in the photo we are looking at, only one (Walker) was present during the match on 13 June 2017, as can be verified on the French Football Federation (FFF) website.

England’s “anti-Mbappé plan” was particularly anticipated, with the Three Lions having a player to rival Mbappé with their player Kyle Walker.

I have to take it as in all matches, respecting it as it deserves but without respecting it too much (…) The match is not England against Mbappé, it is England against France“, warned the interested party on December 7, 2022.

We are not just thinking about Mbappé. It’s a weapon in their arsenal that is very good, but they have other very good players that cannot be underestimated, who have won major titles and a World Cup“, Kyle Walker had underlined again on this occasion.

Kylian Mbappé takes on Jude Bellingham during the France-England quarter-final match of the 2022 World Cup at Al-Bayt stadium, near Doha, Qatar on December 10, 2022 (AFP/FRANK FIFE)

In fact, Kylian Mbappé, against at least five attempts per game in Qatar, with the exception of Tunisia-France (three shots in 40 minutes of play) -, gave way to expert managers Olivier Giroud, author of the 2nd French goal, and Antoine Griezmann, author of two assists.

After the victory against England, watched by 17.7 million viewers on TF1, the French team will face Morocco in the semi-final, Wednesday 14 December at 20:00 (French time), resulting in possible qualification for a second successive final after his coronation at the 2018 World Cup.

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