France’s teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe has been drawing comparisons to Pele throughout the 2018 World Cup. On Sunday, he ensured that those making the comparisons get a statistic to go with their arguments. He scored in the 65th minute of France’s World Cup final against Croatia and became only the second teenager to score a goal in the title clash, with the first one being Pele himself in the 1958 World Cup.
Pele was 17 years old when he became the star of the Brazilian team that won the World Cup in 1958, scoring six goals in the tournament. Mbappe is 19 and he ended his journey in Russia with four goals. Pele expressed his admiration of the teenager’s talents through a witty tweet.
If Kylian keeps equalling my records like this I may have to dust my boots off again… // Se o @KMbappe continuar a igualar os meus records assim, eu vou ter que tirar a poeira das minhas chuteiras novamente…#WorldCupFinal https://t.co/GYWfMxPn7p
— Pelé (@Pele) 15 July 2018
Mbappe had his breakthrough season in 2016/17 when his goals helped Monaco win the French league title and reach the Champions League final. He was subsequently bought by Paris St Germain for an amount in excess of 188 million Euros. At PSG, he formed a lethal striking partnership with Edinson Cavani and Neymar and won the French league title once again.
He struggled to get going in the group stage of this World Cup but mae his mark in France’s 4-3 win over Argentina in the Round of 16. He scored two goals and provoked a penalty after a meandering run with the ball that started from his own half of the pitch.