Emmanuel Macron has revealed what he told Kylian Mbappe after France’s heartbreaking World Cup final loss to Argentina on Sunday night.
Mbappe became the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final since Sir Geoff Hurst but lost on penalties to Argentina, after a sensational game which was 2-2 after 90 minutes and 3-3 after extra-time.
Lionel Messi won the big gong as well as the Golden Ball as the best player in Qatar, but he was pipped to Golden Boot by Mbappe, who finished the tournament on eight goals to Messi’s seven.
France president Macron watched from the stands in the Lusail Stadium and was seen consoling Mbappe on the pitch after the game as the Argentina players celebrated wildly around them.
Asked what he had said to the France superstar, Macron told RMC: “Kylian Mbappe is a great player but he’s young and I reminded him of that.
“I told him he’s only 24 and he was the World Cup top scorer. He’s won a World Cup before, he’s been to another final.
“I was as sad as him but I told him he had made us all very proud, and in the end we’ve lost a football match, we came so close. That’s how it is in sport.”
On the final as a whole, Macron added: “We were very far off at the end of the first half. There have been comebacks like that, but it’s very rare in the history of football.
“We came back amazingly. What Mbappe and the whole team did is extraordinary. We found our hunger again. I really believed we would do it. We had a miraculous second half, coming back from nowhere.”
In a final which will go down in history not only as an epic battle between two football teams, but two world class players in Mbappe and Messi, it felt like something of a passing of the torch from the best player in history to the world’s new top dog.
“We’ll never see anything like this again,” Rio Ferdinand said on BBC One. “I can’t imagine that happening.
“Where you see two great teams going toe to toe, no-one takes a back step. The two superstars on either team again slugging it out, goal for goal. Magnificent.”
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