Football

Mbappe shrugs off Pele comparisons

Kylian Mbappe, the Man of the Moment after scoring two goals in France's 4-3 win over Argentina, has shrugged off comparisons with Pele after repeating the Brazil legend's feat in the 1958 World Cup final.

Mbappe netted two goals in four second-half minutes to become the first teenager to score at least twice in a World Cup match since Pele did against Sweden 60 years ago.

Said Mbappe after securing France's quarter-final spot: "I’m very happy and it’s flattering to be the second teenager (to score twice in a World Cup match) after Pele, but let’s put things in context: Pele is another category, but it’s good to be among these people.

"As I’ve already and always said, at a World Cup you have all the top-level players, so it’s an opportunity to show what you can do and what your abilities are. There’s no better place than a World Cup."

Mbappe was born in 1998,  the year France won the World Cup with current coach Didier Deschamps as captain.

After his Man-of-the-Match performance overshadowed a mediocre display by Lionel Messi and Argentina, Mbappe laughed off suggestions that 1998 will be more remembered as the year of his birth.

“For me, there’s no debate... it was the first time we were world champions.”

Deschamps, who had come under-fire after his team's earlier lacklustre showings, was savouring the moment. He said: "If I am a coach, it is because I want to live this: a full stadium, highly-experienced teams.

"Our team is much younger, but it’s there. We answered the call, we have a lot of character and it was not easy as we were leading, then there was an equaliser, then we were 2-1 behind, but we kept fighting.

"There is an excellent mentality in this group and we did everything to go further. Since I am responsible for everything, particularly when it doesn’t go well, I’m very proud. I’m very happy for them because they have been preparing themselves for weeks and months. We couldn’t miss it and we didn’t miss it." 

KYLIAN MBAPPELionel messiFranceARGENTINA2018 World Cup Russia