World Cup 2022: in the French team, beware of Mbappé dependency


At nightfall this Sunday, December 4, at the end of the convincing victory of the French team against Poland (3-1), the cameras and microphones rush on Olivier Giroud. The French player has just made history. By scoring the first of three goals that qualified France for the quarter-finals of the World Cup, the AC Milan striker became, with 52 goals, the top scorer in history in the tricolor jersey, dethroning Thierry Henry.

But very quickly another event attracts the spotlight. Kylian Mbappé is preparing to speak for the first time since the start of the competition. During the post-match press conference, the latter first returned to the causes of his silence. IThere were a lot of questions around the fact that I didn’t express myself. To the journalists who are there, it was nothing personal, I have nothing against journalists. It’s just that I always have this need to focus on the competition.” he explained.

Global “Sound”

He took it well, the Bondy prodigy literally flies over the start of the competition, without the sound of his voice being heard. Like a man on a mission. “When I want to focus on something, I need to do it 100%, not waste energy elsewhere,” justifies the star. Learning that the French Football Federation (FFF) would be forced to pay a fine because his player did not show up at post-match press conferences, Kylian Mbappé said he wanted to pay himself. Nothing and no one will divert from his goals the one who, author of a sumptuous double against Poland, has settled alone at the top of the scorer rankings of this World Cup.

The victory in the round of 16 was largely due to the talent of the Paris Saint-Germain striker. As was the success against Argentina at the same stage of the competition four years ago in Russia. Mbappé knows how to seduce the football world, he strikes at the right time, in the right place. The one who never hid from wanting “win everything” gives itself the means. “This World Cup is an obsession, it’s the competition of my dreams”, repeated the player, in a press conference, explaining that he built his season for this mission, “whether physically or mentally”.

Platini, Zidane… and Mbappé?

The determination has never seemed so strong in Kylian Mbappé, at the top of his game. But there is a downside to this medal: the dependence he creates in the France team.

As in 1986 with Michel Platini or in 2006 with Zinedine Zidane, the Blues put their destiny back between the feet of their number 10. Kylian has the ability to solve many problems, good for us”, did not fail to greet his coach Didier Deschamps, recognizing the hopes carried by his star. His Polish counterpart, Czeslaw Michniewicz, can only agree: There is no magic recipe to stop Mbappé, he is a fantastic player. »

Its captain, Hugo Lloris, did not say anything else after the victory against the Poles: “Kylian, we say it, we repeat it, difficult to find your limits on a match like today. He scored two extraordinary goals. This is a major asset for our team. (…) The more we advance in the competition, the more we know that we can count on him”, explains the goalkeeper.

Concretely, on the field, all the players of the France team are organized to serve their striker. Antoine Griezmann, strongman of Euro 2016 and attack leader at the last World Cup, now shares set pieces with the PSG striker. The playmaker even accepted a role further back from the attack, in the position of torchbearer alongside Adrien Rabiot, to serve him better. Behind Mbappé, Théo Hernandez multiplies the races to bring his offensive support to number 10, while tackling the defensive tasks, somewhat neglected by the latter.

An absence of Mbappé would not only deprive the Blues of his talent, but would destabilize an entire collective organization. To aim further, the staff of the France team will therefore have to take care of its main artificer. Watch out for the slightest risk of injury. Protect him from pressure, even if he seems ready to assume his responsibilities. Against England, Saturday December 10, and with his lightning youth, Kylian Mbappé will be keen to show that he is, at present, the best player in the world. Nothing less.

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Crazy statistics

After his double against Poland, Kylian Mbappé can boast of having already scored nine goals in the World Cup, in two editions (2018 and 2022). At the same age, just 23, no one on the planet has ever done better.

In Les Bleus history, only Just Fontaine has scored more World Cup goals (13 goals, during the 1958 edition in Sweden).

Mbappé at the same time became the seventh top scorer in the history of the France team, with 33 goals in 63 caps, two more than Zinedine Zidane.

With an average of more than 0.5 goals per match, he exceeds the already impressive ratio of David Trezeguet (34 goals in 71 games).

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