Soccer star Mbappé will not represent France at Paris Olympics

DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Kylian Mbappé thinks he won’t be able to play for France at the Olympic soccer tournament in Paris following his transfer to Real Madrid.

Mbappé is captaining France at the European Championship, and playing the Olympics too could take up almost all of his off-season before an eagerly expected debut at Madrid.

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France’s opening game against the United States at the Olympic men’s tournament is on July 24, just 10 days after the European Championship final. The Olympic gold-medal game is Aug. 9.

“For the Olympics, my club has a position that is very clear,” Mbappé said Sunday ahead of France’s European Championship opening game against Austria on Monday. “I think that I will not take part in the Games.” Mbappé added that he expects to support the French team and watch all of its games.

Unlike most international tournaments like the World Cup, European Championship and Copa America, clubs are not required to let their players compete at men’s Olympic tournaments.

French Olympic team coach Thierry Henry left Mbappé out of his provisional squad early June but indicated he hoped that situation could change before the deadline to name his final squad.

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