When it was all over, when he realized that scoring a
in the World Cup final was not enough to win it, Kylian Mbappé remained rooted to the grass of the Lusail stadium, hunched over, with his hands resting on his knees.
There he was receiving affection from Varane, another from Griezmann, another from Rabiot.
He was the early widower in the middle of a round of condolences, recently arrived at the funeral home.
Perhaps the footballer who had lost the most, because he was the one who had risen the highest.
Before that, before the penalty shootout, the Frenchman had sown the game with unthinkable records, even if he does not allude to the precocity of his 23 years.
Fastest double in a final, first hat-trick since Geoff Hurst's against Germany in 1966, youngest ever to score in two finals, player of any age who has scored the most in these matches (4) , the youngest to score ten times in the World Cups, where he already has 12 goals.
A superlative binge of the pichichi in Qatar, with eight bingos.
Many congratulations to Mbappe, whatever happens.
I've had a great run!
— Sir Geoff Hurst (@TheGeoffHurst) December 18, 2022
Except for the accounting books and to establish the planetary verification that it is a capital footballer, without fissures, ready for the most limit moment on the biggest stage.
You can't even see scars on him from blows like the penalty he missed in the round of 16 round against Switzerland in the last Euro Cup in Bucharest.
Sommer guessed, France was left out and Mbappé came out in the photo of desolation.
But not a hint of that.
In Lusail he scored three penalties against Dibu Martínez, the wizard over eleven meters.
After the first serving of the final, before extra time began, three masseurs knelt next to Mbappé, who was lying on the grass.
Two were used with energy and oil, each one with a thigh, while a couple of meters away Deschamps harangued the team in the center of a circle.
In another break in the Russian final in 2018, between the first and second half, the coach had reminded them that the PSG attacker was playing with them: "As soon as you can, pass it on to Kylian," he told them then.
Four and a half years later, in the Qatari autumn, he was speaking to his troops again while three guys took care of the footballer, who had just brought them back to the game with the most brilliant arreón of a World Cup final: two goals in two minutes to tie a game that was escaping them.
As statistician Alexis Martín (Mr. Chip) pointed out, no one had ever scored a double in such a short time.
Ronaldo Nazario is now the next fastest player, with his two against Germany in the 2002 final. Although the Brazilian was 0-0.
Mbappé's two minutes were prodigious, not only for the game to end in extra time when France had barely emitted signs of having appeared.
They were also two blinks with a historical mark for a boy who showed up in Qatar to discuss the World Cup posters with Pelé.
Before Mbappé only four footballers had scored in two World Cup finals: Vavá (1958 and 1962), Pelé (1958 and 1970), Breitner (1974 and 1982) and Zinedine Zidane (1998 and 2006).
None so young.
None with a life ahead.
But the weight of the prodigy resides above all in the circumstances in which it was executed.
"For an hour we were not at the game," explained Varane.
“We were not able to apply the plan we had.
Things were not going well.
I don't know if it was due to something physical or psychological."
Deschamps left an even bigger doubt floating: “It's hard because for different reasons we weren't on a collective or individual level.
We'll get into the explanations."
Not even Mbappé was recognizable.
After the first quarter of an hour, he had had more contact with De Paul than with the ball.
The Argentinian was the boss of the game: he set the tone, decided when he was out of the band and was in charge of receiving the Frenchman in his area, despite the fact that he was not going to take care of him personally.
But there was De Paul, to give him the first pushes of the night.
Although the one who put the final uphill for him was his partner on the other side.
Di María was flying and Dembélé looked at him disoriented, as if he did not understand what was happening or where he was.
In the move that finished burying the Barcelona footballer, Di María reached the end line while Dembélé followed him at a trot.
The Argentine cut back and the Frenchman ate the threat with such reluctance that anyone would say that he thought that now for what.
What happened next in the area was even more puzzling.
Di María had already escaped him, but Dembélé reached out, tripped over a foot and threw it.
Deschamps withdrew it before the break so that it did not do more damage, after seven losses, five duels all lost, two dribbles and the penalty with which they began to drown.
Randal Kolo Muani, another Bondy boy, entered for him, like number 10, and the rebellion that they led from minute 80 began to take shape. At that moment the Eintracht striker escaped and Otamendi brought him down in the area.
Dibu Martínez guessed that Mbappé had chosen his right stick, but he missed the shot.
France was still there, and on the 10th they had supported them from the point from which they had not been able to hold them in the Eurocup.
The flame was on.
A minute later he hooked a volley when he was about to fall to the ground and tied the final.
"We had it under control and with two shitty shots they tied the game for us," summed up Dibu Martínez.
But it was so much more.
Mbappé had gone into combustion.
He suddenly found the ball, which had been elusive to him, and the company of Kolo Muani and Thuram.
From then on, at the end of extra time, he accumulated all his shots, including one that tripped over Montiel's elbow and from which he took the second penalty that he scored against Dibu, also the second draw.
Back when France was lost.
Although it was not enough.
One of the greatest exhibitions of the World Cup finals was to die in the tiebreaker.
And in the record books.
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