Somehow it feels like we just saw the torch of Lionel Messi after Kylian Mbappe. The latter was not born when France last won the 1998 World Cup, and is 12 years younger than the Argentine. But in a game with 22 players, two stood out on the day, and the youth would experience it best.
If you do not already know Kylian Mbape's name, then you know for sure now.
In the 11th minute of the electrifying 4: 3 victory over France from Argentina Mbappe may have already released the tournament so far.
I mean for Godsakes, watch this young guy take off (it takes 32 seconds).
His last touch of boastful speed did not lead directly to a goal, but it drew the penalty that his teammate Antoine Greizmann converted to the Open France account.
In the 64th minute, look at the control he has with two touches in the box and then once more faster to hit the ball and get the match report.
In the 68th minute, it took a measured and uncontrolled run along the right flank and a touch for Mbappe to get his braces.
Oh, and about this other guy and this other crew.
The entire tournament was an absolute mess for the Argentine side. Sometimes they were old-fashioned in the field and still managed to do it. Off the course they were completely controversial. There were reports of mutiny in which Argentine players requested that their manager be released with a match remaining in the group stage. Coach Jorge Sampaoli's tactical notebook was intercepted in front of the camera, and we're not sure if he actually picked the team for the last two games .
At a macroeconomic level, it is not surprising that Argentina is failing at this point in the tournament. Everything pointed out. But the way things went off testifies to the frustrating ability of this team to create only enough to get through. Even the last offense of the game against France took almost extra time, and there was a fair chance that this side could have limped into the next round.
Messi supported two of Argentina's three goals tonight. It is unfair to say that he has failed even in a team game and a team that is experiencing so much unrest. But that does not mean that Messi from this tournament is covered in fame. It is quite possible that we saw the last game of Messi in an Argentine uniform.
As with his last three World Cups, it is a disappointing ending for perhaps the best player ever.
Potential is a beautiful thing.
We can applaud Messi's career, but watching every game of him is a reminder that he can not do it forever. He is 31 years old, and while he still plays so well, it can only take much longer. The time is for us all.
Mbappe is nothing but potential and possibility. At 19, he is already so good and only gets better. We can love Messi and still blabber because KYLIAN MBAPPE IS ONLY 19 YEARS. Today belonged to him. With one of the two best players of his generation – possibly even – in the other team, Mbappe was the best player on the field in the biggest game of his young life.