Kylian Mbappe said yesterday he dreamed of winning the World Cup for a second time after his brace helped France to a 3-1 win over Poland which advanced the holders to the quarter-finals in Qatar.
“Of course, this World Cup is an obsession for me, it’s the competition of my dreams,” said the 23-year-old who burst onto the global stage by starring when France won the title in Russia four years ago. “I have built my season around this competition and around being ready both physically and mentally for it.
“I wanted to come here ready and so far things are going well, but we are still a long way from the objective we set and that I set.”
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar now has five goals in just four games at the tournament and is already France’s second-top scorer ever at the World Cup with nine goals in 11 appearances overall. Only Just Fontaine, who scored an incredible 13 times at the 1958 tournament in Sweden, has more World Cup goals for France.
However Mbappe insisted he was not bothered about the prospect of winning the Golden Ball for the tournament’s best player. “The only objective for me is to win the World Cup which means now to win the quarter-final,” said Mbappe, who also set up the opening goal against Poland for Olivier Giroud. “That is what I am dreaming of. I didn’t come here to win the Golden Ball. That is not why I am here. I am here to win and help the French national team.”
While the veteran Giroud netted his 52nd international goal to move past Thierry Henry and become France’s all-time top scorer, Mbappe was once again France’s outstanding player. He had been named man of the match in France’s opening two wins over Australia and Denmark only to shun his post-match media duties, exposing the French Football Federation to a fine from FIFA as a result. However, this time he showed up to speak to reporters. “There were lots of people wondering why I was not speaking but it was nothing personal against the journalists,” he said.
“I just needed to concentrate on my competition and when I need to focus it needs to be at 100 percent. I can’t lose energy on other things. That is why I didn’t speak before. I have learnt that the federation is going to get a fine but I have promised personally to pay it.”
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