Just two seasons ago, the world was made aware of a teenage football sensation, Kylian Mbappe. Then turning out for Monaco, his rise to the top was meteoric as he would soon be snapped by PSG for the second highest transfer fee ever.
His participation in the World Cup has not gone unnoticed, as he has put in some sparkling displays and impressed in almost every match. He was unstoppable against Argentina in particular, with his explosive speed and trickery. These are attributes that have gotten better with each passing game.
France manager Didier Deschamps has made him a critical point of reference for France’s attack. When he is not exploiting spaces behind defenders, he is busy occupying them to allow his teammates to cause havoc themselves.
He has three goals to his name so far and he has an opportunity to add to that tally when they face Croatia in the final. Below is a statistical look at his contribution to the team and what lies ahead for the young Frenchman.
Against sides that like to push their defensive lines high up the pitch, Mbappe poses a constant threat on the break. He has recorded the fastest speed in the tournament managing to sprint at 32.4 kilometers per hour. Argentina were made to pay for not finding a solution to his pace as he scored two of his goals whilst winning a penalty for his side.
The youngster’s game aesthetic has also been growing as can be attested by the number of successful dribbles he has completed. As things stand now he has successfully made 52 dribbles, more than any other player. He is followed by Neymar (46) and Eden Hazard (43). From the looks of things, he is in good company and he could only grow in his confidence.
What next for the final
As is expected Mbappe will line up alongside Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud in the France attack. He will be hoping to feed off second balls from Giroud who has been excellent in ensuring that the wingers that feed off him, get a consistent supply of the ball.
Croatia will try to dominate the midfield like they did for most parts of the second half against England in the semi-final. However, he is a very adaptive player who can play both counter-attacking football as well as passing the ball from the back like they do at his club PSG.
Although only 19-years-old, Mbappe has shone on the greatest stage of all. Now he has the chance to go one step further and guide his country to the ultimate glory.