In-form Mbappe and Griezmann but Pogba has struggled since World Cup triumph

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Griezmann, Pogba, and Mbappe have endured conflicting fortunes.

France’s World Cup triumph was built on the back of impressive performances from a whole host of players, but Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba were their standout stars in Russia.

They’re set to link up again, for the second time since the summer, during the upcoming international break, as France take on Iceland in a friendly and then Germany in a UEFA Nations League fixture.

Three months on from their magical night in Moscow, here’s a look at how the three stars have fared since the biggest win of their lives.

KYLIAN MBAPPE

Appearances: 9

Goals: 11

Assists: 4

The man who was named the World Cup’s best young player, and became the first teenager to score in the final since Pele in 1958, has continued to set the world on fire since the start of the new season.

Mbappe is one of only two players in Europe’s top five leagues – the other being Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Neymar – to have been involved in 11 domestic goals this season, with eight goals and three assists. That includes a four-goal burst in PSG’s weekend win over Lyon, and a goal at Anfield, albeit in a disappointing loss to Liverpool.

Kylian Mbappe is still on top of the world.

Kylian Mbappe is still on top of the world.

ANTOINE GRIEZMANN

Appearances: 13

Goals: 4

Assists: 4

The player who was named the third-best player at the World Cup has picked up right where he left off after leading France to the title.

Having announced his decision to stay with Atletico Madrid during the summer, Griezmann has helped his club brush off a slow start to the season and climb to third in the La Liga table, just one point behind leaders Sevilla.

Griezmann has been in top form to start the season.

Griezmann has been in top form to start the season.

PAUL POGBA

Appearances: 12

Goals: 4

Assists: 3

Three months ago, Paul Pogba was scoring in a World Cup final and answering critics by dabbing with the Jules Rimet trophy.

Now, those critics are back in full force, as the midfielder has had an up-and-down campaign with Manchester United and his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho has seemingly descended into chaos. His own form has been inconsistent, he’s been stripped of the vice-captaincy, and there’s talk of a move away soon.

Things have not been going well for Pogba since this moment.

Things have not been going well for Pogba since this moment.

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Real Madrid star Gareth Bale winning fitness race to play for Wales

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The Los Blancos attacker has overcome injury.

Gareth Bale is set to win his fitness battle and play in Wales’ Nations League tie against the Republic of Ireland.

Bale remains doubtful for the Cardiff friendly with Spain on Thursday after coming off in the closing stages of Real Madrid‘s La Liga defeat at Alaves last weekend.

The 29-year-old has been troubled by a groin injury in recent weeks, but he trained on Tuesday and the Wales medical staff will continue to monitor his fitness ahead of the Spain game.

Although that clash might be too soon for him, Press Association Sport understands that Bale is in line to start in Dublin next Tuesday.

If Bale does miss out against Spain, Harry Wilson could be on free-kick duty after his stunning effort at Old Trafford for Derby last month.

The on-loan Liverpool winger scored a spectacular 30-yard effort to earn praise from Anfield boss Jurgen Klopp and a rebuke from his Wales manager and Manchester United great Ryan Giggs.

“He (Klopp) messaged me after the game,” said Wilson, who copied the previous Old Trafford goal celebrations of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard by holding one hand aloft to show five fingers, referring to Liverpool’s five European cups – compared to United’s three.

“He just said ‘fantastic free-kick, really great football’.

“It’s great to hear from the manager whose team you want to be in in the future.

“He (Giggs) did mention a fine to me when I got into camp, but the celebration was just heat of the moment.

“I practice my free-kicks a lot and spend time with a couple of lads to get that technique.

“I think Gareth is definitely top of the pile when it comes to taking them, and rightly so.

“But if he’s not on the pitch for one reason or another, I’ll be putting my name forward.”

Wilson will also be keeping an eye on England during the international break as he shares a Derby flat with fellow loanee Mason Mount.

The Chelsea youngster earned his first England call-up for the Nations League games against Croatia and Spain despite never having played in the Premier League.

“He’s been great for us all season. He’s scoring, assisting and deserves his call-up,” Wilson said.

“Mason’s a great lad to live with, even if he’s a bit messy and the flat is a bit dirty at the minute!

“We go to the cinema, go shopping, go out for food and we try to do that with a couple of our team-mates as well.

“We’re setting up a Come Dine with Me in Derby. Every other week some people will come to our house and we’ve got to cook for them and try some new recipes.

“My speciality is spaghetti bolognese, and I have to say I’m a better chef than Mason.”

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Paul Pogba names four French players he thinks should win Ballon d'Or

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Paul Pogba says he would love a Frenchman to win the Ballon d’Or, but does not believe he should be in contention.

The Manchester United midfielder was named on the 30-man shortlist for the award for the best player of the year, with the winner to be announced in Paris on December 3.

There were seven Frenchmen named on the list after helping Les Bleus win their second World Cup in Russia this summer.

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante and Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris are in contention, along with Paris St Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, Atletico Madrid’s

Antoine Griezmann and Real Madrid’s Champions League-winning duo Raphael Varane and Karim Benzema.

“Whether it’s Grizou (Griezmann), Kylian (Mbappe) or Raph’ (Varane), they deserve it much more than me,” Pogba told AFP.

“I can not designate one. But I hope with all my heart that this is one of the three.

“One of the four also because there is NG (Kante). That’s all I hope for anyway, because there are many who deserve it. I do not put myself in.”

Every Ballon d’Or since 2008 has been won by either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi and the pair are both among the favourites again this year.

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