‘And one feels for Mbappe who scored a World Cup hattrick and lost. How can that be?’
Peter Drury’s words after France eventually lost their grip on the World Cup title will echo across the galaxy of football. They will sound sweet to the Argentines but for the French, it will be a stark reminder of a remarkable performance that failed to deliver them their World Cup.
A 23-year-old Kylian Mbappe etched his name in the history books after netting three goals in the final, bringing his team back into the game after trailing twice before.
The first inspired comeback took place in the 80th and 82nd minutes when Mbappe scored a penalty and a thunderous goal from inside the box, and the second comeback happened in added extra time after Lionel Messi put Argentina ahead again.
It was brutal that the final had to be decided on penalties, especially after an epic encounter for the ages. Nevertheless, the French couldn’t hold on to their nerves and bowed before the La Albiceleste.
The magnificent Mbappe had no words. He was inconsolable. But France’s President, Emmanuel Macron who cheered from the box rushed to the pitch to console the national treasure after the penalties.
Mbappe who was in no mood to even acknowledge anyone’s presence around him kept a straight face and nodded at times without any response to Macron’s incessant and continuous words of support.
The Paris Saint Germain forward was courteous not to dismiss Macron’s presence around him but his body language suggested that he wanted to get out of everyone’s eyeballs and have a moment by himself.
But the French team and Mbappe had to make it to the stage to receive their medals. And again, Macron held onto Mbappe and whispered sweet consolatory words that the Golden Boot winner didn’t heed any attention to.
Macron’s persistent efforts to speak to Mbappe bordered on the lines of cringe. For a man who had just lost a World Cup final despite turning in a performance of a lifetime, Mbappe surely played it nice with his President.
Macron pic.twitter.com/XjYYN68ZNO— Ryan (@TweetsFailMe) December 18, 2022
Although anyone who witnessed this exchange wanted Macron to leave Mbappe alone. Who knows what Macron was whispering into Mbappe’s ears? But it surely didn’t resonate with fans across the world.
It seemed that Macron was trying hard to score some points for himself. But everyone sees through the bullshit these days. Macron’s act in this final will be remembered as a nuisance that could have been avoided, leaving Mbappe and the team in lesser misery.