‘The man to decide games!’: Rio Ferdinand leads the plaudits for Kylian Mbappe after the French superstar nets twice in 95 SECONDS to draw the reigning champions level against Argentina
Rio Ferdinand led the plaudits for Kylian Mbappe after the 23-year-old superstar scored twice in 95 seconds to claw France back from 2-0 down against Argentina in the World Cup final to force extra-time.
As Argentina cruised to a 2-0 lead thanks to first-half goals from Lionel Messi and Angel di Maria, the reigning champions looked as though they were heading to World Cup final defeat.
But Mbappe’s blistering brace salvaged the match for Didier Deschamps’ side, as the French forward rifled home a penalty in the 80th minute before dispatching a scintillating volley 95 seconds later.
Kylian Mbappe netted two quickfire goals in 95 seconds to claw France back from 2-0 down
Rio Ferdinand heaped praise on the 23-year-old forward after he salvaged the game for France
Before extra-time, Ferdinand heaped praise on Mbappe and said: ‘He hadn’t had a touch all game. Then two moments. He had the composure to dispatch the penalty.
‘Then the volley, the technique. He wants to be the man to decide games. The substitutions have impacted the game and were involved in the goals.’
In the 80th minute, Randal Kolo Muani broke through the Argentina back line and drew a foul from Nicolas Otamendi in the penalty area, handing France a spot-kick to get back into the contest.
Mbappe coolly dispatched a penalty in the 80th minute to claw France back into the contest
Mbappe coolly slotted the ball into the bottom left-hand corner past Emiliano Martinez, rescuing hope for Les Blues after a woeful display throughout the match.
Moments later, as France exploded into life, Adrien Rabiot played a looping ball towards Mbappe from the midfield, prompting the superstar to head it down towards Marcus Thuram.
Playing a smart one-two with Mbappe, the substitute lifted the ball over the back line towards his talisman, and the 23-year-old rocketed a sweet volley past Martinez into the bottom right-hand corner.
The stadium erupted as Mbappe’s volley thrashed past Emiliano Martinez for the second goal
The second goal not only launched France back into the final, but also fired Mbappe to the summit of the World Cup’s golden boot race ahead of Messi, who netted from the spot for Argentina in the first half.
Ferdinand, Alan Shearer and former Argentina defender Pablo Zabaleta reacted to the ‘crazy’ scenes and questioned whether this could be the greatest World Cup final of all-time.
Shearer said: ‘Crazy, it is bonkers. For 80 minutes France have not had a shot on target, they looked leggy, and tired are were going nowhere. Then a crazy challenge, a goal, the spirits are up and they are back in it.’
Alan Shearer, Ferdinand and Pablo Zabaleta lauded France and Mbappe before extra-time
Zabaleta, who was just over 10 minutes away from celebrating his country’s first World Cup triumph since 1986, added: ‘A great comeback from France. We played well, but it is a mistake for the penalty.
‘In Mbappe they have one of the greatest players in the world. Two goals in three minutes, but that is why we love football. I cannot believe it, but what a game.’
Ferdinand added: ‘Is this the best final I’ve seen? I’ve not been to a better final than this. I hope one of the superstars decide this. It is made for one of those two.’