Kylian Mbappe World Cup hero in vain but justifies Pele . comparisons

Kylian Mbappe France Fifa World Cup

France’s No 10 striker Kylian Mbappe watches the penalty shootout during the 2022 World Cup soccer final between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on December 18, 2022. (Photo by FRANCK. FIFE / AFP)

Kylian Mbappe was unlucky to finish in a losing position as Argentina beat France on penalties in the World Cup final, but the 23-year-old showed why comparisons to Pele aren’t in vain physical.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward has scored only his second hat-trick in the history of World Cup finals but his bid to become the youngest man to win twice since Pele in 1962 ended in heartbreak in Qatar .

Mbappe, who turned 24 on Tuesday, was only the second player to score in back-to-back World Cup finals and finished as the tournament’s Golden Boot winner with eight goals.

Played as a passenger for most of the match, Mbappe exploded after just 10 minutes with two goals in 97 seconds to bring the defending champions back from the dead.

A peripheral figure as Argentina took a 2-0 lead, Mbappe saved a penalty against Emiliano Martinez and then equalized shortly afterwards with a delicate first volley into the bottom corner after an exchange. excellent with Marcus Thuram.

Just when it looked like it was all over for France when Lionel Messi scored again in extra time, Mbappe braved his second penalty – alongside 1966 England star Geoff Hurst returning became the only player to score three goals in a World Cup final.

And while it is Messi who gleefully lifts the World Cup trophy — eight years after the bitter pain of losing the final in Brazil — Mbappe is clearing any doubts about who will succeed him and Cristiano Ronaldo as his successor. become the new superstar of football.

He’s already sixth on France’s all-time top scorers list with 36 goals, one behind Karim Benzema – the Ballon d’Or winner whose absence from Qatar has been reduced. lightly by Mbappe’s excellence.

Only Brazil’s Ronaldo has scored the most goals at a World Cup in half a century. His 12 goals in finals before the age of 24 broke Pele’s previous record of seven.


His record is identical to that of the Brazilian legend in four World Cups, putting Mbappe sixth on the all-time list.

Mbappe imitates Vava, who scored in both Brazil’s wins in 1958 and 1962. His four goals in World Cup finals are also the most in history.

Mbappe will still be 27 years old at the next 2026 World Cup, a once-talented talent of this generation with a burning desire to ease the pain of defeat in Doha.

“Many players have broken records at this World Cup and Kylian has really left his mark,” said France coach Didier Deschamps.

“Unfortunately, he didn’t leave it the way he wanted to and that’s why he ended up disappointed.”

Mbappe has scored 253 goals in 363 games for club and country, far surpassing the achievements of Messi and Ronaldo at the same age.

While Mbappe was preparing for a spectacular comeback from France, Pele was watching from his hospital bed thousands of kilometers away in Sao Paulo as he battled colon cancer.

“I’m happy to see you break another of my records at this World Cup, my friend!” Pele responded after Mbappe sent his well wishes earlier in the tournament.

Mbappe has taken his game to new heights over the past month, earning himself the right to one day be included in the same conversation as Pele, Diego Maradona, Messi and Ronaldo.

“The king will always be king,” Mbappe said after scoring in France’s 4-2 win over Croatia in the 2018 final, but he really is the jewel in France’s crown – and timing standing on his side.


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