France’s Kylian Mbappe having World Cup of his ‘dreams’

Kylian Mbappe says he is playing “my dream competition” at the World Cup after two goals in France’s 3-1 win over Poland sent the world champions into the quarter-finals and rival coach Czeslaw Micniewicz hailed him as Lionel Messi’s successor. and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mbappe, who helped France win the 2018 World Cup in Russia, took pole position in the race for the tournament’s Golden Boot with two goals in Qatar.

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His brace at Al-Thumama took him to nine all-time World Cup goals – one more than Ronaldo and level with Messi – and his five goals in the play-offs means he and Pele (six) have scored as many before their age. 24.

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Speaking after the last-eight draw with either England or Senegal, Mbappe said he was enjoying every minute of the tournament.

“This is the competition of my dreams and I’m happy to be here,” Mbappe said. “I prepared all season to be ready.

“When I didn’t talk to the media in the early stages of this competition, it was because I just had to focus on the tournament and football. When I want to focus, that’s what I do, but when they told the French, the Federation would be fined, I paid it myself because it’s my responsibility.

“But I’m here and I’m focused on winning the World Cup again. We’re a long way from going all the way and achieving our goal of winning the World Cup. The first challenge is the quarter-finals, that’s what we’re focused on. Now.”

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Despite identifying Mbappe as a key player for France, Poland coach Michniewicz said it was impossible to stop the PSG star in this form. Michnevic added that Mbappe is destined to be the next big football superstar.

“Messi, Ronaldo and [Robert] Lewandowski, – Micnevich said. “Someone will take over, I think it is him [Mbappe] will be the best for many years.

“He hurt us. When you play against France, Mbappe always has to have two players.”

In addition to scoring twice, Mbappe opened the scoring with Olivier Giroud to move clear of Thierry Henry as France’s all-time leading goalscorer.

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But coach Didier Deschamps said after the game that Mbappe was not at his best during the 90 minutes.

“He didn’t have his best match,” Deschamps said. “He knows it himself, but he can change the game in an instant. France needed a great Kylian Mbappe tonight and we got him.”

Deschamps was eager to praise Giroud, however, after he got ahead of Henry with his own goal.

“Olivier was always an important player,” he said. “Four years ago he didn’t score, but he was a very important player for us.

“He’s had tough times in his career before but he’s remained mentally strong. To score so many goals at international level is an achievement, but the guy next to me. [Mbappe] may break one day.”

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