Mbappe says he will 'never' get over World Cup heartbreak

Mbappe said he had been through some "difficult times" since the defeat


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Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe reacts during the match against Strasbourg. — Reuters
Paris St Germain's Kylian Mbappe reacts during the match against Strasbourg. — Reuters

Published: Thu 29 Dec 2022, 6:38 PM

Kylian Mbappe said he will never get over the disappointment of losing the World Cup final after the France star scored the winner on his return to action for Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.

"I think I'm never going to get over it," Mbappe said, speaking 10 days after he scored a hat trick in the final against Argentina which the South Americans won in a penalty shootout.

Mbappe said he had been through some "difficult times" since the defeat but he showed few signs of the setback in Qatar as he won and converted a 96th minute penalty to give PSG a last-gasp 2-1 win against Strasbourg on Ligue 1's resumption following the World Cup break.

"As I said to my teammates, there is no reason why the club should pay the price for the failure of the national team, they are two very different situations," 24-year-old Mbappe said.

"It does me good to come back with a win and to have a link with the club, the supporters and my teammates."

Neymar, who was left in tears after Brazil were knocked out by Croatia in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, was sent off for two yellow cards in PSG's victory.

Mbappe also said he won't "waste energy on such futile things" when asked about controversial celebrations from Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez after the World Cup final.

The Argentine goalkeeper was one of the biggest heroes in the World Cup final against France with a last-gasp save in the extra time as well as his brilliance in the penalty shootout.

But the Aston Villa keeper also drew criticism for his gamesmanship in the shootout and his wild post-match celebrations in his team's dressing-room where he appeared to call for a minute's silence for Mbappe.

The giant goalkeeper was then seen posing with a doll depicting Mbappe in the team's victory parade in Buenos Aires.

But Mbappe shrugged off the controversy surrounding those celebrations after playing his first club match since that World Cup final in Qatar.

"Celebrations are not my problem," Mbappe told RMC Sport.

"I don't waste energy on such futile things."

The French superstar also made it clear that the World Cup final result would not affect his relation with club teammate Lionel Messi.

Messi ended his long wait for World Cup glory when Argentina beat Mbappe's France on penalties.

"I spoke with him after the match, I congratulated him," Mbappe said.

"It was the quest of a lifetime for him, for me too, but I failed, so you always have to be a good sportsman."

Meanwhile, the victory over Strasbourg put PSG eight points ahead of Lens, who must beat Nice on Thursday to keep up.

PSG also announced that their 30-year-old Italian midfielder Marco Verratti has extended his stay at the club until 2026.

In other games, Lille beat 10-man Clermont 2-0 thanks to an Angel Gomes penalty and a late settler from Mohamed Bayo deep in time added on.

Lyon thrashed Brest 4-2 away from home as they push for the European places.

France may have had a glimpse of the future earlier on Wednesday when 17-year-old Monaco forward Eliesse Ben Seghir secured all three points in a 3-2 win over Auxerre on his Ligue 1 debut.

Thierry Henry was two months younger when he scored his first double for Monaco against Lens aged 17 years and 8 months back in 1995, but the brilliance of Ben Seghir's brace brought back memories of the Arsenal and France star.

Ben Seghir, who does not turn 18 until February, came on as a second-half substitute for Wissam Ben Yedder, who had scored from the spot just before half time but was replaced anyway.

The newcomer unleashed his first goal within 12 minutes with an unstoppable shot to put Monaco 2-1 up.

He then delivered a solo effort to savour, delivering a curling winner from outside the box to make it 3-2.

After the final whistle the Monaco players led Ben Seghir to be serenaded by the away fans on a night that will live long in the teenager's memory.

The win lifts Monaco up to fifth place on 30 points.

Ben Seghir grew up in Saint Tropez but is of Moroccan origin and has yet to decide who he will represent internationally though he has turned out for the France under-18s.


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