Didier Deschamps believes Kylian Mbappé is ready for another memorable World Cup after scoring a goal and an assist in France’s 4-1 win over Australia, saying: “That’s his opponent.”
Mbappe became the second teenager – after Pelé in 1958 – to score in a World Cup final when France beat Croatia to win the tournament in Russia four years ago, and he’s off to a good start this year with Le Bleus taking the comeback victory. .
Craig Goodwin unexpectedly gave Australia the lead in Tuesday’s Group D matchup, but Mbappé capitalized on shots from Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud in the first half as France started with a win.
At 23 years and 337 days old, Mbappe has become the youngest player to score five World Cup goals for France, and Deschamps expects him to get stronger and stronger in Qatar.
“Kylian has been one of the best players in the world for some time now and feels very confident,” Deschamps said. “You can see it in the way he plays. He is calm and focused.
“He has been in good shape for a long time. I knew he would be ready for this World Cup, this is his competition and he knows how to make a difference.
“He could always play on the team, so it’s great for us and I have a lot of strikers, but Kylian is certainly outstanding.”
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France’s victory ensured they became the first World Cup winners to start by winning the tournament since Brazil in 2006, while their current five-match winning streak in the final is their longest such streak (also five in 1986 and editions 1998).
However, France’s victory was overshadowed as they suffered another traumatic blow as Bayern Munich’s Lucas Hernandez limped out after Australia’s early goal.
Deschamps fears the defender may have suffered a serious injury that could enable his brother Theo Hernandez to start Saturday’s match against Denmark.
“As far as Lucas Hernandez is concerned, we are still waiting for test results, but I’m afraid it could be pretty serious,” Deschamps said.
“It’s true that Lucas’ injury was a hard blow. I’ll have to think about replacing it.
“You can’t have three players for every position on your team, but obviously there are Theo Hernandez and other alternatives.”