World champion France celebrates Kylian Mbappé, who left his mark on the World Cup round of 16 against Poland: breathtaking speed, excellent technique, two goals.
The speed and dynamics of some sports can only be recognized when they are watched on site. This is the case with tennis, for example, and also with skiing. In football, the television picture also gives a fairly realistic impression of the speed with which the ball and opponents are moving across the field.
However, there are players whose pace only takes your breath away when you watch them in the stadium – and world champions France have two of them in their team. It’s Ousmane Dembélé sprinting down the right and Kylian Mbappé down the left.
Deschamps praises Mbappé as “problem solver”
In the round of 16 of the World Cup against Poland, Olivier Giroud caught a defensively cleared ball from the air. When the center forward turned and the two wingers started sprinting, the three Polish defenders must have been aware that things could get very tricky.
It got worse. Because Mbappé has much more to offer than just a crazy pace. He shot the ball well placed, but still hard into the goal (74′). His second goal followed in the first minute of added time, this time he shot the ball into the right angle. “When you see Kylian: With these skills you can solve many problems”said France coach Didier Deschamps later.
More World Cup goals than Cristiano Ronaldo
Mbappé, who turns 24 two days after the final in Doha, has now scored nine goals in World Cups, one more than Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. In the past 14 international matches, Mbappé has scored 16 times. A total of 33 goals in 63 appearances for France’s senior national team.
The thesis that Giroud, who has just become the record scorer of the “Bleus” with 52 goals, will be replaced by Mbappé in the coming years is not too daring.
Mbappé’s goals are ‘amazing’
“It’s unbelievable what goals he scores“Adrien Rabiot enthused about Mbappé, with whom he played for two years at Paris Saint-Germain before moving to Juventus in 2019. Rabiot also showed an excellent performance against Poland. It was nowhere near as spectacular as Mbappé’s , but at the highest level in winning the ball, in duels and in strategic quality.
France on course to defend their title
France reinforced the claim of wanting to successfully defend the title in all parts of the team, albeit with smears in the case of goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. “The adventure continues. We are a super gang of comrades. You can see that on the pitch. There is still a long way to go, but today we will celebrate“said Giroud, the significantly better number 9 than Robert Lewandowski on the other side.
Lewandowski leaves questions about the last World Cup unanswered
The FC Barcelona striker scored his second goal at the tournament in Qatar from a replayed penalty but otherwise fell far short of his potential. The otherwise staid Poles failed to take the lead in a good phase in the middle of the first half. After being left behind by Giroud’s goal in the 44th minute, they had no chance.
The 34-year-old Lewandowski again reacted evasively to the question of whether it was his last World Cup: “Physically, I’m absolutely confident in one more. But there are so many other things in football that can affect that. Let’s wait and see.“