The defending champions, France, couldn’t have asked for a better start to their World Cup campaign.
Despite being marred with injuries that had sidelined stalwarts like Karim Benzema, Paul Pogba, and N’Golo Kante, the French registered an emphatic win over Australia in their opening match.
Olivier Giroud, Adrien Rabiot, and Kylian Mbappe all made their way to the scoresheet that left the Aussies in tatters but the biggest highlight of the game was the 36-year-old striker, Giroud who equalled Thierry Henry’s record of the highest number of goals (51) for the French national team.
The French have picked up from where they left off four years ago in Russia. The team is in high spirits and their biggest name, Mbappe, has made a sensational start to his campaign with an assist and a goal to his name.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward was a sight to behold on the western flank against Australia, leaving defenders in mud.
Despite being a constant threat with his lung-bursting runs, which outpaced the Australians, his goal arrived in the 68th minute from an Ousmane Dembele cross.
Everyone on the field was expecting Mbappe’s usual celebration near the corner flag, with his arms crossed against his chest and two thumbs poking out from the side.
But Mbappe had something special, something new up his sleeve for the world and its cameras.
The 23-year-old got on one knee with his head down, one hand behind his back, and kept the thumb of the other hand on his nose with the pinky finger lifted.
This celebration came as a surprise for fans around the world who are used to watching his iconic celebration of arms crossed against his chest.
No one expected a new celebration, but when it came off, many had questions that now seem to have been answered.
The most burning question of all: ‘What is the inspiration behind this celebration?’ has now been answered.
People who were appreciating Mbappe for his creative skills to come up with a new worthy celebration should hold their horses because the reason behind Mbappe’s poise celebration is his brother, Ethan Mbappe (GQ France).
Like any set of brothers who live and breathe football, Kylian and Ethan are huge FIFA fans on PlayStation.
One fine day, when both the brothers were amid an intense FIFA session, Ethan scored a goal against his brother and instantly got up in the excitement and did the bended knee celebration.
Kylian was impressed and asked his brother if he can use this celebration when he scores a goal on the pitch.
Hence, the ‘bended knee’ celebration, which many have touted to be reminiscent of a famous sculpture of the Thinker by Rodin, was born.
Interestingly, Mbappe has used this celebration once before in a Ligue 1 game in the 2021/2022 season after scoring a goal against Lorient. The Frenchman wasn’t alone as Achraf Hakimi joined him in this celebration.
Mbappe is a man on a mission and the ultimate player to take France to glory yet again. So do not be alarmed if you see this celebration again. It might become a defining moment for Mbappe and his team if France reaches the final again.