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“Want to Forget”—Losing to Lionel Messi’s Argentina Still Haunts Kylian Mbappé

Published 12/22/2023, 1:28 PM EST

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via Reuters

It has been over a year since France lost the FIFA 2022 World Cup final to Argentina. Kylian Mbappé rescued France twice—first with a brace in the 80th and 81st minutes, then with an equalizer (via penalty) in the 118th minute. But for a critical clearance by Paulo Dybala just before the final whistle, he would have won the World Cup for his country. Watching his team go down 4–2 on penalties despite his performance of a lifetime, it’s no wonder that Mbappé still feels the acute sting of the loss. In an interview, the Paris Saint-Germain star revealed that despite losing, people still thank him. And perhaps that makes the bitter memory even harder to forget.

Kylian Mbappé hopes to erase the memories of the World Cup final loss

France would have become the third country to win back-to-back World Cups after Italy (1934 & 1938) and Brazil (1958 & 1962). Kylian Mbappé cannot forget that; neither can the fans. In an interview, he said, “You want to forget, but people talk to you about it, the whole planet talks to you about it. They tell me ‘thank you’, but I tell them ‘thank you for what? We did not win!’ We know that that match will be part of history. But it’s hard to say we’re part of history without having won that day. History is for the people who write it, and we wanted to write it.”

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The 25-year-old acknowledged that they were part of historical match. He further added that although they made it a game to remember for fans around the world, “but it is difficult to surpass it [the feeling of loss].”

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Mbappé will certainly hope that they can go one more step further in the 2026 FIFA World Cup. But, the short-term priority for him will be to bring the Euro trophy next year to France.

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Mbappé will be aiming to make his country proud in the 2024 Euros

The fans of the French national team will have huge expectations in the 2024 Euros. This is because of their brilliant form in the games since the World Cup final loss against Lionel Messi’s men. They have won 9 out of their 10 games. This includes a 14-0 win against Gibraltar. They also finished unbeaten in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

Kylian Mbappé has also been in brilliant form for the national team. He has scored nine goals and provided 5 assists in eight games during the qualifiers. This has helped them top their qualification group.

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The 25-year-old will hope that he continues the same form into the main tournament that will be played next year in Germany. Will Mbappé lift the Euros trophy for France? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Written by:

Anuj Nikhil Virjiani

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One take at a time

I can't express how deep my passion for the sport runs, especially when it comes to the English Premier League. Over the years, I've dedicated myself to understanding the intricate details of the game, both on and off the field. What's fascinating is that my beloved club is Newcastle United, and I've been on a rollercoaster journey with them, from their triumphant promotion from the second tier to the recent takeover and even their remarkable qualification for the Champions League last season.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal