The month-long carnival that was the Qatar World Cup has finally assumed its place in the history books, and the mental tournament filled with twists and turns at every step culminated in a grandstand finish between two sides best described as ‘Football royalty’.
France took on Argentina in what turned out to be one of the greatest nights the sport has ever witnessed, with the game eventually finishing in La Albicelestes’ favour after a round of dramatic penalties.
Millions across the World rejoiced collectively as the legendary Lionel Messi added the ultimate feather to his cap, firmly cementing his seat on the roundtable populated by the likes of Pele, Maradona, Zidane and a select few others.
But even the Magic Man himself will tell you that Argentina barely made it by the skin of their teeth, as a rapid 23-year-old simply refused to make way.
While World Cup glory narrowly escaped from within his reach, Kylian Mbappe delivered another timely reminder that his era has indeed arrived, as he netted a WC final hat trick and carried his side to the fateful precipice of penalties.
His performance was the ultimate display of intent, an all-timer that had viewers enthralled and heart rates heightened.
And despite missing out on the ultimate prize, in the end, Mbappe firmly silenced any remaining naysayers and earned millions of brand-new admirers in the process.
However, there were plenty who still opted to hate the Frenchman for no good reason, and a majority of them appeared to be Argentine supporters.
Instead of sending commiserations and perhaps a tinge of appreciation Mbappe’s way, Argentina fans resorted to shameful comments.
In another instance of racism rearing its ugly head in Football, Mbappe became the target of racist and xenophobic remarks, and the search keyword ‘Mbappe Negro’ even became popular on Twitter.
The notion of ‘sour losers’ doesn’t apply here, as these fans were ‘despicable winners’ instead.
Their actions tie into the abundant racism found across South American football, and Mbappe, alongside a few of their French compatriots, became its latest victim.
French duo Aurelien Tchouameni and Randal Kolo Muani were forced to turn off their comments on Instagram due to the sheer amount of racist abuse they received.
Racism was even prevalent in the build-up to the final, as evidenced by this clip featuring a revolting chant by the Argentine support.
Blatant racism such as this flies against the face of what the World Cup is all about, and it’s awful to see players receive abuse for simply giving it all for their Nation.