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Kylian Mbappe breaks World Cup record with superb finish, to send France into the last eight

Ryan Sidle

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Kylian Mbappe breaks World Cup record with superb finish, to send France into the last eight

Kylian Mbappe took France one step closer to defending their World Cup title, with a superb finish vs Poland in the last 16.

No team has won back-to-back World Cups since Brazil managed it in 1962, but France may have the best opportunity of any winners for sometime.

Didier Deschamps's team ignored the recent holders curse, started by France in 2002, by qualifying for the knockout stages, despite a loss to Tunisia, which caused their FA to complain to FIFA.

They set up a last 16 tie with Robert Lewandowski and his countrymen, and were heavy favourites to book a place in the quarters.

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Olivier Giroud became France's all time top goalscorer on his own, leaving Thierry Henry in his wake, when he opened the scoring on half time.

Poland didn't have too many chances to equalise, or to open the scoring before that, but at just one goal down they remained a threat.

However, the game was all but put to bed with just 16 minutes left of the game, when Mbappe doubled the lead with a cooly taken but brilliant finish.

On the break, Ousmane Dembele ran through the tame Polish defence, whilst Giroud took defenders away, before the ball found Mbappe on the edge of the box.

The PSG star had no one marking him and just picked his spot past Wojciech Szczesny with aplomb, and securing a place in the quarters.

The goal was his fourth of the tournament, taking him above Giroud, Lionel Messi, Cody Gakpo, Alvaro Morata, Marcus Rashford and Enner Valencia, who can't add to his tally after Ecuador's elimination, in the race for the Golden Boot.

It was also his eighth in a World Cup, having scored three in France's win in Russia four and a half years ago, and ended a record previously held by Pele.

The legendary Brazilian had scored seven in the World Cup before his 24th birthday and, another 16 days until he reaches that milestone, Mbappe broke the record.

However, the former Monaco star, and most expensive teenager of all time, wasn't finished there, even adding the third goal for his team.

The 23-year-old had the ball rolled to him inside the box by Marcus Thuram, before the forward beat his marker and curled the ball beyond the keeper.

Having already scored once vs Australia and twice against Denmark, in the tournament before Sunday, it took the Frenchman's tally for the national team up to 33 goals, in just 63 appearances.

It means that Giroud's record in unlikely to remain for all that long, with the AC Milan forward having notched up 52 goals for his country.

Whilst he could still add to that total, he won't have as long to do it as Mbappe will have to catch and surpass him.

Just how many records the PSG forward ends his career with is anyone's guess.

Featured Image Credit: BBC Sport

Topics: Kylian Mbappe, France, Football World Cup, Football, Poland

Ryan Sidle
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