Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe completed his first hat-trick for his country in the first 30 minutes of Saturday night, using his speed and accuracy to dissect a weak defense. The 22-year-old marked the fourth delay when France reserved their place at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a win guaranteed to ensure their first place in Group D, with one football match left.
Mbappe’s hat-trick was first scored by a French player in 1985 in an international competition at Dominique Rochetto. And, scoring four goals, he became the first man to do so in a game for France from Just Fontaine in 1958. He is also the fourth one to do so.
Having played such an important role in France’s victory at the 2018 World Cup in Russia – scoring four goals, including one in the final – Mbappe has stressed the desire of his teammates to try to replicate his success.
“We wanted to give us a chance to defend our title,” he said after Saturday’s 8-0 win. “Even for those who played and won it, playing in the World Cup is a supreme dream. The fans loved it, as did we. We respected the game and our opponents. We wanted to continue till the end.”
Mbappe has now scored 23 goals in just 52 selections for Les Bleus. Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, who did not play in 2018, scored two goals after the break, while Adrien Rabiot and Antoine Griezmann scored one each. Griezmann’s late penalty was his 42nd for his country, overtaking Michel Platini in France’s all-time leading standings just behind Olivier Giroud and Thierry Henry.
“The goal was to qualify, but we also did it in style, and you can see the joy that the players played together and how they shared things, especially the strikers,” Deschamps told French television. “It’s good, everyone had their piece of cake. It is a result that we have done well in both parts. The risk on the break has to be reduced a bit, but we continued, it also means respecting the opponent.”
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