Rio Ferdinand hailed Kylian Mbappe’s performance in France’s last-16 win over Poland – maybe even ranking it about Lionel Messi’s landmark role in Argentina’s win the previous day.
Mbappe’s brace helped Les Bleus to win 3-1 over Poland, although Didier Deschamps’ men did not have it all their own way at the Al Thumama Stadium.
Speaking to BBC after the Poland game, pundit Ferdinand said that the 23-year-old’s performance was full of ‘confidence’, and comparable to Messi’s role at the centre of Argentina’s 2-1 victory over Australia to also make it to the quarter-finals.
Ferdinand said: ‘Yesterday, I spoke about Messi as the best performance. Today [Mbappe] was the most explosive performance, devastating in all areas.’
His double rose Mbappe to nine World Cup goals across the four he scored in 2018 and the five he’s scored this time around to lead the Golden Boot race.
However, Poland more than matched France at least during the first half, until Olivier Giroud’s opener, which made him France’s all-time top male goalscorer.
Mbappe’s two goals comfortably sealed Deschamps and his squad into the quarter-finals, although their clean sheet was spoiled with Robert Lewandowski’s consolation penalty.
Mauricio Pochettino said that France would have to improve to get much further in the competition, as they will face a tough challenge regardless of whether they face England or Senegal in the next round..
The former Spurs manager said it was a ‘professional performance for France – job done. When you have Mbappe in your team, today, he did his job fantastic. He’s an amazing talent.