Tedesco makes debut for Belgium: Captain Mbappé starts with France in EM qualifiers


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Tedesco makes debut for Belgium
Captain Mbappé starts high-scoring with France in European Championship qualifiers

Three months after losing the World Cup final, France made a great start to qualifying for the European Championship. A new era begins with captain Kylian Mbappé, which he ushers in well. Domenico Tedesco makes a successful debut in Belgium and Ralf Rangnick can also celebrate.

Domenico Tedesco got off to a good start on his way to the 2024 European Championship in his native Germany on his debut as Belgium national soccer coach. The 37-year-old started qualifying with the Red Devils with a 3-0 (1-0) win in Sweden, and star striker Romelu Lukaku was the match winner with a hat-trick.

Tedesco, with Belgium on Tuesday (8.45 p.m. / RTL and in the ntv.de live ticker) in Cologne, the next friendly opponent of the German team, applauded the deserved 1-0 with a header from Lukaku (35th). When the veteran scored his 70th international goal shortly after the break (49th) after a pass from Berlin’s Dodi Lukebakio, the former Schalke and Leipzig Bundesliga coach looked much more relaxed. Lukaku scored the final score in the final phase (82nd). The Swedes around Leipzig’s Emil Forsberg didn’t have a chance after their veteran star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who had returned from a knee injury, came on 20 minutes before the end.

Tedesco had succeeded Roberto Martinez after the disappointing first round exit at the World Cup in Qatar. After the resignations of long-time leaders Eden Hazard and Toby Alderweireld, Tedesco had renounced ex-Dortmunder Axel Witsel and heralded a cautious generational change.

Bundesliga professionals score for Austria

Ralf Rangnick also took the first step towards his home European Championship with Austria in a 4-1 (2-0) win over Azerbaijan. With a double strike, the Munich loanee Marcel Sabitzer (28th) and the Freiburg Michael Gregoritsch (30th) in Pasching put their team in the lead before the break. Sabitzer (51st), on loan to Manchester United, and Hoffenheim’s Christoph Baumgartner (68th) increased in the second half. The Austrians will receive Estonia on Monday (8.45 p.m. / DAZN and in the ntv.de live ticker). The German coaching duel will take place in Group F on June 17 in Belgium.

The former Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski botched the start of the qualification with Poland at 1: 3 (0: 2) in the Czech Republic. Former Portuguese national team coach Fernando Santos, who is now on the Polish bench, saw his team make a false start in Prague and were 2-0 down after just three minutes.

Captain Mbappé starts a new era

A good three months after the defeat in the World Cup final, France, on the other hand, got off to a brilliant start: The runner-up won the top game against the Netherlands in Paris 4-0 (3-0) and collected the first three points on the way to Germany. For the Équipe Tricolore it was the start of a new era: superstar Kylian Mbappé took over the captaincy from the retired goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. In addition to the twice successful striker from Paris St. Germain (21st/88th), Antoine Griezmann (2nd) and Bayern defender Dayot Upamecano (8th) also scored for France. In injury time, Memphis Depay failed with a hand penalty to France goalkeeper Mike Maignan (90+5).

National coach Didier Deschamps had decided on the search for a new captain for Mbappé and thus also against Griezmann, this is said to have caused disagreements recently – but both stars worked together on Friday: Mbappé played Griezmann’s early goals.

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