Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are “handing over their crown” as the world’s best players to teenage France forward Kylian Mbappe, says former England defender Rio Ferdinand.
Mbappe, 19, scored his side’s fourth goal as France beat Croatia 4-2 in the World Cup final in Moscow, and won the tournament’s best young player award.
“He is the guy who will be standing up on that Ballon d’Or podium in years to come. Easy,” added former Manchester United Ferdinand.”I hope my old club are chasing him. He has that connection with Paul Pogba too.”Paris St-Germain forward Mbappe is only the second teenager to score in a World Cup final after Pele in 1958.
Ronaldo, 33, and Messi, 31, have been considered the best players in the world for a decade, winning the past 10 Ballon d’Or awards between them.
Mbappe scored four goals in Russia as two-time winners France were crowned world champions for the first time since 1998.Former Germany striker and manager Jurgen Klinsmann, speaking on World Cup Match of the Day, said Mbappe looked like he had been playing in France’s team “for 10 years”.
“There is so much to come down the road,” added Klinsmann.”He is shaking up the market. With Ronaldo moving [to Juventus] and [Paris St-Germain’s] Neymar being linked with other clubs, where is it finishing with this kid?”France edged past Australia and Peru before being held to a goalless draw by Denmark in the group stage.
Didier Deschamps’ side then overcame Argentina in a seven-goal thriller in the last 16 before beating Uruguay and Belgium to make the final.”They have not been the best to watch but they know how to win football matches,” added former England winger Chris Waddle on BBC Radio 5 live. “They have managed the tournament very well.”You have to say Didier Deschamps’ gameplans have been great without being entertaining. He has won the World Cup and that’s what he came here to do.”
Ferdinand added: “France have been criticised in the group games but they adapted to each and every team they played. To win you can’t always play your own way.”
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