KASAN, Russia – When Lionel Messi hopes to win a World Cup – and he'll be 35 when the next tournament is due in Qatar – he went into at least a classic, a 4-3, to the thriller, which has two goals of unquestionable quality and will forever remain in the collective memory of the World Cup. But if it meant the end of an era, it might mean a change to a new era, as Kylian Mbappe confirmed his immense talent. The £ 166 million that Paris Saint-Germain contracted last summer suddenly seems much more sensible.
The Argentine defense can not even withstand moderate tempo, and Mbappe glows fast. All France had to do was defend well and beat balls over the top. It was something mysterious that the game remained so close for so long. This Argentina has been a dazzling team since the beginning of the tournament, and for Mbappe it was the perfect sacrifice. Whether France has actually found a coherence that was missing in the group stage or whether it only capitalized on the weaknesses of his opponent, will only be seen in the quarterfinals.
It was clear from the beginning that Argentina could not handle Mbappe. After 1
What followed was a game of extraordinary drama in which it seemed that France was ever in danger. Argentina may have been a mess, but its will to survive and survive is remarkable. Angel Di Maria scored a brilliant equalizer from 30 meters four minutes before half-time and Gabriel Mercado was shot by Messi three minutes after half-time.
In short, there was a thought that Argentina could somehow hold on to somehow revive the spirit of 1990 when it staged a stubborn victory after stubborn victory.
It did not take long. Argentina's right flank was an open door all night. A flank from the left dodged everyone until she reached Benjamin Pavard, who almost stroked a curling volley into the top corner. Then it was Mbappe's turn. A flank from the left, a sharp turn and a shot and a goal of the kind of predatory instincts that mark the best players.
Then, four minutes later, after another forward charge into space, a decent note from Olivier Giroud and a quiet finish, Mbeppe became the first teenager since Pele to knock out two goals in 1958 in a World Cup knockout.
"I'm very happy," said Mbappe. "It's flattering to finish second behind Pele, but let's put things in context, Pele is a different category, but it's good to be one of those people who score in knockouts."
Sergio Agüero still had time to retire, but that was France's day, and specifically Mbeppe's day. There will always be skepticism about those who play in the French league, even if they score 13 league games if they help their team to a threesome in their own league. But that has confirmed him after his performances for Monaco in the Champions League 2017-18 not only as a player with the highest potential, but also in the highest quality.
"As I've always said," Mbappe continued, "In a World Cup, you have all the top-level players, so it's an opportunity to show what you can do, there's no better place for yours To prove their skills. "
Didier Deschamps cut a much more relaxed figure after the first few weeks of the tournament and joked that Mbappe was born in 1998, five months after France, under Deschamps & # 39; Captain Armband had won the World Cup.
"It was a good year for him to be born, even though he did not see much of the 1998 World Cup," he said. He knows all about clubs and players, and I've always said he is very good, I'm very happy that Mbappe is a French citizen, and he has plenty of room to progress in such an important game he shows all his talent and even if he should defend, he still did attacks and very good ones. "
This last line was probably jokingly said, though it is often difficult with Deschamps, surely be. However, this was a much more relaxed Deschamp than in the past two weeks, and he was even ready to risk comparisons between Mbappe and Brazilian superstar Ronaldo.
"Ronaldo was a striker who was very, very fast," he said. "But I think Kylian is even faster, he also needs more space, although he can play as a forward player, and he's also in the central part of the field, but this is someone who was a world champion compared to a young player, who has many abilities. "