France forward Antoine Griezmann claims Atletico Madrid team-mate Koke asked him for the inside track on teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe ahead of Spain’s trip to the Stade de France.
Monaco striker Mbappe won a maiden call-up to Didier Deschamps’ national squad following his prolific form for the Ligue 1 leaders, as well as scoring in both legs as Leonardo Jardim’s side dumped Manchester City out of the Champions League.
Speculation linking the 18-year-old to the likes of Real Madrid has followed and he could have his chance to impress against the cream of Spanish football in Tuesday’s friendly.
Koke is among a plethora of enviable midfield options at Spain boss Julen Lopetegui’s disposal and he was keen to know more about Mbappe, who made his France bow from the bench during Saturday’s 3-1 World Cup qualifying win over minnows Luxembourg.
“Koke sent me a message to find out how Kylian (Mbappe) was,” Griezmann told a pre-match news conference.
“It was Monday, I told him I had not seen anything yet but I was looking forward to seeing this week.
“Tomorrow I will see him and we will talk about young players, but I am happy with those who have just arrived.
“We talk a lot about it in France and they have their heads on their shoulders, they work a lot in training. We see that they want to be part of this team so it is the best for us.”
France and Spain both suffered Euro 2016 disappointment in Saint-Denis, with the hosts enduring extra-time heartache in the final against Portugal, while Italy ended Spain’s quest for a third consecutive European title at the last-16 stage.
“It’s a prestigious game,” Deschamps said. “There are no points at stake, as you know, but playing Spain, which is a leading country, gives a particular scent – as well as the matches against Italy or England.
“We often meet over the years, but it is a beautiful prospect and we are hoping that there is a beautiful show – especially from our side.”