'Extraordinary' Mbappe made France proud despite World Cup final heartache, says president Macron

By Sports Desk December 18, 2022 925

Kylian Mbappe made France proud with an "extraordinary" performance despite Les Bleus' heartbreaking World Cup final defeat to Argentina, says president Emmanuel Macron.

France looked destined for a demoralising loss after going two goals down at Lusail Stadium, but Mbappe scored twice in the space of 97 seconds after the break to force extra time.

After seeing his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Lionel Messi put Argentina back in front, Mbappe converted a late penalty to become just the second player to score a hat-trick in a men's World Cup final – after England's Geoff Hurst in 1966.

While shoot-out misses from Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni crushed France's hopes of retaining the trophy, Macron – who was seen talking with Mbappe after the defeat – said the forward had made his country proud.

"We were very far behind at the end of the first period. It's already happened, there have been comebacks like that, but it's very rare in the history of football," Macron told RMC Sport.

"We came back tremendously. It's extraordinary what Mbappe did, but the whole team were hungry again. I believed in it immensely. 

"Afterwards, we performed a second miracle by coming back from nowhere. We had match point.

"Mbappe is a very great player, but he is young, I told him he was only 23. He was top scorer at this World Cup. He won a World Cup [in 2018], he made a final. 

"I was as sad as him. I said he made us very proud and in the end we lost a football match, we went to nothing. That's sport."

Mbappe's treble took him to 12 World Cup goals in his career, drawing him level with Pele's tally and making him the youngest player to reach double figures at the tournament, aged 23 years and 363 days.

The France forward also became just the fifth player to score in two World Cup finals, after Vava (1958, 1962), Pele (1958, 1970), Paul Breitner (1974, 1982) and Zinedine Zidane (1998, 2006).

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Last modified on Monday, 19 December 2022 08:17
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