Home / Sports / Football News /  A spectacle to watch: Pele hails 23-yr-old golden boot winner Kylian Mbappe

Despite the brilliant show on Sunday, Kylian Mbappe was unlucky to finish on the losing side as Argentina defeated France on penalties in the World Cup final. Hailing the same, all-time great Pele said, “What a gift it was to watch."

Mbappe, who will turn 24 tomorrow, scored only the second hat-trick in World Cup final history but his bid to become the youngest two-time winner since Pele in 1962 ended in heartbreak in Qatar.

He is also the second man to score in back-to-back World Cup finals, and finished as the tournament's Golden Boot winner with eight goals.

Following the match, Pele congratulated him saying, "My dear friend, Mbappe, scoring four goals in a final. What a gift it was to watch this spectacle to the future of our sport."

Mbappe is already up to sixth on France's list of all-time top scorers with 36 goals, one behind Karim Benzema -- the Ballon d'Or winner whose absence in Qatar was mitigated by the brilliance of Mbappe.

Only Brazil's Ronaldo has scored as many times at a single World Cup over the past half-century. His 12 goals at the finals before the age of 24 have shattered Pele's previous record of seven.

Dejected but still proud of France's World Cup team, French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday sought to console Kylian Mbappe and other France players in the locker room, and said he told them that “they made us all immensely proud, and made us all tremble with excitement."

He praised Mbappe's “extraordinary" performance and stressed that he is only 24 and has already had the rare experience of playing in two World Cup finals.

Macron said the French players are expected to return to France on Monday and parade down the Champs-Elysees in Paris despite the loss. Macron will be visiting French troops stationed abroad for the holidays.

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