Paul Pogba “lost the plot” on the way to France crashing out of Euro 2020, according to Emmanuel Petit.
The Manchester United midfielder had scored a fine goal to put his side 3-1 up against Switzerland in Monday’s last-16 clash, only for goals from Haris Seferovic and Mario Gavranovic to drag the game to extra-time.
Switzerland eventually emerged as winners on penalties, despite blowing the chance to go 2-0 up in the game when Ricardo Rodriguez saw his spot-kick saved by Hugo Lloris.
It was Switzerland stopper Yann Sommer who became their hero in the shootout, as he kept out Kylian Mbappe’s effort to secure a 5-4 success for the unfancied side.
Former France midfielder Petit – who was in the side that won the 1998 World Cup, scoring the third goal in the final – was deeply unimpressed with what he saw.
“I don’t really understand what happened to France versus Switzerland,” Petit told Paddy Power.
“During the game we only played well for 20 minutes after Lloris stopped the penalty. After it, we looked confident and like a good team.
“But then there was one incident – Pogba lost the ball for the second Swiss goal – and France collapsed.
“We lost everything. Concentration, team spirit, desire – and the tie.
“Worst of all, we started fighting on the pitch between ourselves.
“There was a big clash between Rabiot and Pogba, who lost the plot, after the second Swiss goal and from then on we had no control, no confidence.
“We looked average – it’s hard to explain.”
Mbappe – who failed to score a goal at Euro 2020 – has been criticised by many in France for his displays during the tournament, and Petit referred to an apparent row in the stands between various family members of the France team, including Adrien Rabiot’s mother.
“Mbappe was asking for more responsibilities before the tournament, and there were stories about not passing the ball to Giroud,” continues Petit.
“There was even fighting in the stands between Rabiot, Mbappe and Pogba’s families after the second goal – Rabiot’s mother said Mbappe’s big head is spoiling the team.
“Then Mbappe penalty is saved in the shootout.
“We looked so far away from the World Cup-winning team.
“It reminds me of our team in 2002, when we went out in the group stage of the World Cup. It’s a real shame because it doesn’t need to be like this.”
That French side Petit refers to were seen as the heavy favourites for the World Cup in 2002, only to crash out at the first hurdle as they finished bottom of their group, losing to Senegal and Denmark and drawing with Uruguay.