Mbappe seals World Cup Golden Boot with final hat-trick
Kylian Mbappe won the World Cup Golden Boot with a stunning hat-trick in Sunday’s final, but Argentina won on penalties thanks to Lionel Messi.
Mbappe started Sunday’s game tied with Paris Saint-Germain teammate Messi on five goals but fell behind twice in a dramatic fight with the Argentina captain.
Messi became the first player in World Cup history to score 20 goals when he converted a penalty after Ousmane Dembele brought down Angel Di Maria, who then concluded a fluid move to put Argentina ahead 2-0.
With 10 minutes remaining, Mbappe was given a chance to reclaim the top spot in the scoring statistics, slotting a penalty home after Nicolas Otamendi fouled Randal Kolo Muani.
Mbappe then took the lead in the Golden Boot race 97 seconds later, smashing a first-time volley past Emiliano Martinez to force extra time.
Messi appeared to have sealed the award – and the championship for his country – when he nudged Argentina back in front in extra time, but Mbappe answered with another penalty kick after Gonzalo Montiel was penalized for handball.
Mbappe became only the second player in men’s World Cup history to score a hat-trick, and the first since England’s Geoff Hurst did so against West Germany in 1966.
Mbappe followed up his heroics by converting the first penalty of the shoot-out, but misses from Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni brought his campaign to a heartbreaking end as Argentina won their third title.
Mbappe now has four goals in World Cup final history after scoring against Croatia in 2018, and his overall tally of 12 goals at the event ties him with three-time champion Pele.
Mbappe’s eight goals in Qatar are the joint most in a single World Cup since Gerd Muller scored ten in 1970 (also Ronaldo, eight in 2002), but it will be little consolation to the forward after France’s humiliating defeat.