Nathaniel Atkinson may very well be forgiven for being scarred for all times from his nightmare outing towards megastar Kylian Mbappe on the World Cup.
But the Socceroo was capable of see the silver lining in being on the receiving finish of the French ahead’s masterclass in a 4-1 defeat on Wednesday (AEDT) – whereas giving a brutally trustworthy evaluation of the expertise of tangling with the French star who’s on a take care of PSG value a reported $A886m over three years.
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Atkinson was given the nod over Fran Karacic at proper again however had an evening to neglect at Al Janoub Stadium. His pricey error in coughing up possession allowed France to take the lead late within the second half, however the 23-year-old struggled all night time to deal with the French, particularly Mbappe, who was at his good finest and ran rings round Atkinson – and loads of different Socceroos – together with his tempo and energy.
Atkinson, who performs for Hearts in Scotland, admitted he wanted his teammates to choose him up moments after the crushing efficiency, however was ready to take a look at the night time extra philosophically when speaking to Australian media.
“It’s simply the physicality of the man. Give him one step and he’s gone,” Atkinson mentioned.
“As a crew you may at all times give you a plan and generally when it’s one v one, he will get the higher of you. It’s a studying curve.”
“… You can get your confidence up by getting just a few challenges in, however there’s a purpose he’s one of many high three gamers on this planet. But that’s not an excuse. I need to play one of the best gamers on this planet.”
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“We’ve obtained a very good mixture of skilled gamers and younger gamers. When I got here into the change room my head was down, the primary ones to return as much as me have been the skilled gamers. They mentioned the wonder is in three days time we’ve obtained one other sport.”
Atkinson obtained phrases of helps from Graham Arnold, who steered others had fared worse towards gamers of Mbappe’s calibire.
“The child truly did decently effectively. He did his finest towards among the finest gamers on this planet,” Arnold mentioned.
“Especially within the first half we had (Mathew) Leckie and Jackson Irvine to assist him, that was the plan – when Mbappe obtained the ball, the three of them obtained on the market and helped. But how do you cease somebody so fast? It’s very troublesome. It’s an amazing lesson for the child. He’ll transfer on from it.”
Fellow defender Aziz Behich added: “Look, that is soccer. He’ll be alright. We’ve obtained excessive vitality round our camp we’ll make certain he brushes that off and his head’s on for the Tunisia sport.”
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