As Two Stars Begin to Fade, Another One Rises
Kylian Mbappe is here!
Five months short of his 20th birthday, Kylian Mbappe joined Pele as the only other teenager to score in a World Cup Final and sets the tone for his future.
This tournament saw both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi crash out in the round of 16 after failing to drag their teams to the prize that has evaded them both throughout their careers. Despite losing the two players who have held the duopoly of being the best players in the game for the last decade, the French teenager ensured viewers were kept on their toes with his blistering pace, brilliant finishing ability and beautiful flicks.
Perhaps his most valuable asset is how grounded he seems to be despite all the praise he earns for his performances. He doesn’t play for the money, he plays because he loves football. He has promised to donate the €430,000 (approximately) that he will be given by the the French Football Federation (FFF) for his side’s success at this year’s tournament.
It would have been understandable for the 19-year-old to be overwhelmed by the occasion on Sunday evening in the Luzhniki Stadium, after all, he was on the verge of winning a prize that neither Ronaldo or Messi could get their hands on in their illustrious careers. But when Sunday night came and the opportunity arose in the 65th minute at the edge of the Croatian box, there was little hesitation as he hammered home his strike, a strike that ensured his name will go down in history alongside Pele.
Pele went on to do incredible things and now it’s the Frenchman’s turn to do the same. The sky is now the limit for Mbappe, he must kick on and show the world what he is capable of as the careers of Messi and Ronaldo come to a close.
It is time for the world to get excited about the next chapter in football’s history.