An applause is in order – once again – for the French national team.
Didier Deschamps-led side has lifted the World Cup trophy on Sunday afternoon after beating Croatia 4-2 in a tantalising final.
A talent-laden French side defeated the manically-charged Croatia with their foot barely touching the gas pedal it would appear. Strictly organised and defence-confined within the brackets of Deschamps’ overly criticised vision, France galloped past the Balkan nation with Kylian Mbappe dominating the proceedings once again.
One must give it to Croatia who enjoyed more possession and more shots in the game. The French were 2-1 at halftime thanks to an own goal and a debatable VAR-awarded penalty which must have stuck with Croatia until the very end.
The numbers and stats would not suggest France were the team on top but Didier Deschamps played another well-executed deception without jeopardizing his team’s win not for once in full 90 minutes.
One of the rare managers who managed to lift the coveted World Cup trophy both as the player and tactician, Deschamps was holding on to a golden ticket at this year’s World Cup, having been blessed with youth and talent beyond imagination.
Two such attributes are merged perfectly in the PSG starlet Mbappe, who stepped out of his teammate Neymar’s shadow to showcase his true worth on the brightest stage.
Mbappe Not Your Regular Superstar
And while the planet waved goodbye to the Brazilian international in contempt and rage over his over-the-top theatrics, Mbappe’s was applauded for his work-rate, dedication and commitment to a common cause.
There was a genius method behind Deschamps’ controlled attacking and restrained flow. With N’Golo Kante holding the anchor it was Paul Pogba who was given a platform to thrive on. With Olivier Giroud pulling deep into his own half it was Antoine Griezmann who was given open path towards goal.
If there was one rogue element to all the football structure and organisation displayed by the French than it definitely was Kylian Mbappe.
Romping down the touchline in uncatchable pace with ball at his feet, Mbappe kept on destroying opposition numbers throughout the tournament. The goal he scored against Croatia came as a crown of its own for all this teenager displayed in Russia.
The 19-year-old sensation became only the second teenager ever to score in a World Cup final and was later on congratulated for such an achievement by the man who did it before him – Pele.
Only the second teenager to have scored a goal in a #WorldCupFinal! Welcome to the club, @KMbappe – it’s great to have some company! // O segundo adolescente a marcar um gol em uma final de #CopaDoMundo! Bem-vindo ao clube, Kylian – é ótimo ter a sua companhia! https://t.co/g8b2gLTy7B
— Pelé (@Pele) July 15, 2018
Four World Cup goals once again established Mbappe as world football’s emerging superstars. What sets him apart from the peers is his manners and the overall conduct of a polite boy who’s not taking his success for granted.
His star status was further solidified when it became known that all the proceeds he earned during the World Cup will not go to him.
L’Equipe claims that Mbappe will forward his premiums to a humanitarian cause Premiers de Cordee – which provides free sports instruction for hospitalised and disabled children – with Sports Illustrated reporting that he earned £17,000 per game whereas he also pocketed another £265,000 for winning the World Cup.
Playing for his country and representing his nation is a reward itself and it’s nice to see that one global superstar can also be such a grounded and modest person as well.
A true star in the making.
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