The France international’s comments on the differences between national teams in Europe and South America haven’t gone down well.
Brazil manager Tite has criticized Kylian Mbappe’s claim that South American teams have an easier time qualifying for the World Cup than their European counterparts.
The last South American team to win the World Cup was Brazil in 2002. In the last two decades, Argentina have come closest to winning the tournament again for the continent. The Albiceleste, led by a young Lionel Messi, finished runners-up to Germany in the 2014 edition.
European teams, meanwhile, have dominated the biggest tournament in football, winning each of the last four World Cups.
What did Mbappe say?
Explaining the cause for this in May, Mbappe, a 2018 World Cup winner with France, said: “Argentina and Brazil don’t have that level of competition in South America, the football is not as developed as in Europe, that is why most recent World Cup winners have been Europeans.”
Tite hits back
“Maybe [Mbappe] is talking about these Nations League clashes or European friendlies, but not World Cup qualifiers,” the Brazil coach said in defense of CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying during an interview with ESPN.
Tite added: “We don’t have, with all due respect, Azerbaijan to play. We don’t have anyone that gives you a break.
“The qualifiers here have a much higher degree of difficulty than the group stage [of European qualifying].”