Is Mbappe Set To Become the Greatest World Cup Player Ever?

Ismail Ansar

Is Mbappe Set To Become the Greatest World Cup Player Ever?

Kylian Mbappe scored two second-half goals on Sunday in France’s 3-1 demolition of Poland, in a win which takes France to the quarter-finals of this year’s World Cup. The imperious Mbappe looks set to lead his country to yet another World Cup final because France are in seriously impressive form and have a squad that can go all the way once again.

Mbappe’s tally of nine goals in the World Cup now means that he has the most goals for a player under the age of 24, surpassing Pele’s tally of seven. Slowly but surely, Mbappe is starting to replace Lionel Messi as the best footballer in the world, with Mbappe now seemingly breaking new records literally every week.

On top of this, Mbappe carries his club form onto the international stage, with the 23-year-old possessing something that Messi does not – a World Cup winners medal. Here, we take a quick look at whether Mbappe could soon be considered the greatest World Cup player ever…

Can he join Pele in winning 3 World Cups?

Just one player has won the World Cup more than twice, with legendary Brazilian forward Pele lifting the trophy in 1958, 1962 and 1970. 20 other players have won the World Cup twice, with all but one of those players being Brazilian or Italian (Daniel Passarella in 1978 and 1986 for Argentina).

Pele, Brazil

Mbappe already has one World Cup to his name at just 23 years of age, and there is no reason why he can’t add to that tally as time goes on. The PSG man is playing in the most talented group of Les Bleus footballers in almost 20 years, and the squad depth that France possess is absolutely insane.

Didier Deschamps’ men have one of, if not the, best starting XIs in international football, and they have a myriad of talent that they can call on from not only the bench but from the country in general as time goes on and some of the old guard retire or fall out of favour.

Barring injury, Mbappe could play in another two World Cup tournaments – he will be just 31 when the 2030 World Cup comes around. And he could potentially even play in a third if he hasn’t hung up his boots by 2034, when he will be 35. And so with an ever-strengthening French side, it is a very real possibility that France could retain the World Cup and Mbappe could join the short list of World Cup-retaining players.

At the current 2022 finals, France are currently at the quarter-final stage, where they will take on England this weekend in a mouth-watering clash - Mbappe has five goals and two assists to his name so far in Qatar, and it is that kind of form that has led many to believe that we will once again see Mbappe lifting the World Cup.

How does he compare to others internationally?

Mbappe is currently on nine World Cup goals, which places him in some esteemed company. Mbappe’s nine goals place him ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo (eight goals) and level with Lionel Messi. Mbappe’s tally is also level with other legendary figures of the game such as Roberto Baggio, Eusebio, David Villa, Paolo Rossi, Christian Vieri and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The PSG man still sits behind quite a few other players in the all-time charts, with Thomas Muller, Gary Lineker and Gabriel Batistuta (all 10), Jurgen Klinsmann (11), Pele (12), Just Fontaine (13), Gerd Muller (14) and Ronaldo (15). And Mbappe is just eight goals away from breaking Miroslav Klose’s record of 16 goals at World Cup finals – considering the fact that he already has five at Qatar 2022, it is a very real possibility that the Frenchman will surpass Klose’s record in subsequent tournaments.

Here are some other World Cup records that Kylian Mbappe could break soon…

  • Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for most World Cups scored at (5), but Mbappe, who has already netted in two World Cup tournaments, is on track to match or even break this record.
  • Just four players have scored a brace in a World Cup final (Pele, Vava, Zinedine Zidane and Paul Breitner). Mbappe scored a brace against Croatia in 2018, and considering his young age, he could soon become the first player on that list to do so twice.
  • Mbappe has scored a World Cup goal at both the ages 19 and 23. If he were to score a World Cup goal in his 30s, then he would become just the second player to score World Cup goals in their teens, twenties and thirties (Lionel Messi is the only player to do so).
  • Mbappe could soon join another exclusive club – the most World Cup matches in which two goals were scored. Sandor Kocsis, Just Fontaine, Ronaldo and Klose all currently share the honour, with four matches with a brace each. Mbappe is currently on three World Cup games with a brace, with a brace against Argentina in 2018, as well as against Denmark and Poland at this year’s edition.

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