Can Navas take up the challenge of stopping Mbappe?

The age gap between the two players on Spain’s right wing seems to be increasing. 16-year-old Lamine Yamal has long been paired with Dani Carvajal, twice his age, at this end. It was this pair of unequal ages that helped Spain to win the match until the quarter finals. However, after seeing a red card in the last eight, Carvajal will not be seen in the semi-final against France. However, before seeing the red card, Carvajal’s ban was confirmed after receiving yellow cards in two matches.

With Real Madrid six-time Champions League winner Carvajal out, Spain are set to replace him in the semi-finals with Jesus Navas. Navas will pair up with Yamal on the right side. Navas won two Europa League titles before Yamal was born. The age difference between the two is 22 years. However, Navas will have to forget this age gap and focus on more important work if he gets a chance to get on the field. On his shoulders will be the burden of stopping Kylian Mbappe.

Navas is currently in his 21st season in his senior career. But he seems to have transcended time. 38-year-olds are rare players who can keep pace at this age. But Navas can do it well. Besides, he has managed to control his fitness very well. As a result, times have changed but Navas has not. Still at the same speed, he can leave the right back position and come up to the right wing with ease.

With his speed, Spain may be useful to stop Mbappe today. But there is another downside to playing him. Navas cannot create any threat in the opponent’s box on the counter-attack. Navas could not even score a goal for club and national team in this decade. The last time he scored two goals in the jersey of Spain was in 2019.


Spain, however, will want to see more success in stopping Mbappe than goals from him today. Spain’s coach de la Fuente said about playing him in the semis, ‘I still don’t know if Jesus (Navas) will play or not. But he is fully prepared. Not that I’m confident. The thing is, he’s the best. If he has to deal with Mbappe, he will try to stop him.’

However, Navas was never a regular in the national team. This footballer, who won the Euro and the World Cup for Spain, was away from the national team at various times. Now he has a chance to win another Euro for the country. But if he gets a chance for that, he has to fulfill his responsibility. One of the best players in the world right now has to be stopped. Mbappe, who is 13 years younger than himself, has created a storm of speed

Can confuse the opponent. Navas’ real challenge will be to stop the speedy Mbappe in the semi-finals. In this case, Navas could, however, be helped by Mbappe’s broken nose, discomfort in playing with a mask and breathing problems, which could make the fight even. Now it is waiting to be seen whether Navas can do the job properly if he gets the chance.


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