Hannah McKay, the Reuters photographer, did not immediately see the analogy between her photo of Kylian Mbappé taken after Olivier Giroud's goal on Sunday in the round of 16 against Poland (3 -0) and the famous shot of Pelé, in the arms of Jairzinho, after the coronation of Brazil at the 1970 World Cup. Pelé-Mbappé, the link so strong between the two players, so symbolic too, more present than ever in this competition like the new performance of the Frenchman who exceeded, on Sunday with his double, the Brazilian in terms of the number of goals scored before the age of 24 (9).
But, on Sunday, when Olivier Giroud has just scored his 52nd goal, thus becoming the best French director in history ahead of Thierry Henry, Hannah McKay, 34, is not thinking of Pelé.
Positive energies for o Rei!
O Botafogo se une ao mundo e deseja uma pronta recuperação para o genial Pelé!
Estamos juntos na torcida!
— Botafogo FR (@Botafogo) December 4, 2022
“My priority was the goal of Giroud's record, says the photographer, contacted by telephone on Monday.
I knew it was coming.
I was curious to see what celebrating this special moment would look like.
But when Giroud scored, my priority was to know if I had succeeded in my photo of the goal!
Because it is this image that counts for English newspapers.
"When you're a photographer, it's the moments you're looking for"
Despite everything, the photoreporter follows Giroud and she first sees him slipping on his knees with Mbappé, the decisive passer, behind him.
"That's great," she thought to herself.
Then Giroud gets up and it is at this moment that Mbappé jumps into his arms and shakes his fist.
" It's even better !
“, she thinks then while chaining the shots without suspecting, therefore, that she has just immortalized the moment when Mbappé imitated Pelé.
“Yes there are clearly similarities between the two photos, she appreciates.
It was really a special moment”.
Instagram Hannah McKay
This celebration was also noticed because of the look full of tenderness that the two French attackers exchanged.
“You can see on the field how much they are accomplices and get along well, extends Hannah McKay.
This celebration shows that.
We feel that Mbappé was happy that his teammate broke the record.
He ran quickly to congratulate him.
Both were happy.
When you're a World Cup photographer, that's exactly the kind of moment you're looking for.
Kylian Mbappé, author of two goals after that of Giroud, continues his journey with ambition.
“It's the competition of my dreams, I built my season on this competition, I prepared myself physically, mentally, he underlined after the meeting.
We are still far from the objective that we have set and that I have set myself.
But he does not forget Pelé, currently hospitalized with new health problems.
“Let us pray for the King”, he had indicated on Twitter, touched by the situation of the one from whom he never ceased to be inspired.
With this fist raised in the arms of Giroud, he unwittingly this time brought him the most beautiful tribute and support to the one who so often saw in him his "heir".