Xinhua News Agency, Doha, November 27th (Reporters Wang Haoming, Yue Dongxing, Wei Hua) The 974 Stadium, which is made of stacked containers, stands on the bank of the bay. When the sun sets and night falls, the stadium lights up like day.
On the evening of the 26th, the focus of the second round of Group D of the Qatar World Cup group stage was staged here. Mbappe scored two goals alone, helping the French team beat Denmark 2:1 and became the first team to advance to the top 16.
In the past three World Cups, all the teams that played as defending champions failed in the group stage, and the French team Mbappe turned out to break the curse.
On November 26, French player Mbappe celebrated after scoring a goal.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Lan Hongguang
After scoring the second goal, Mbappe’s World Cup goals reached 7 goals in 9 games, and his ranking in the history of the World Cup has risen to 31, tied with Messi and Suarez and others. But just two hours later, Messi took his World Cup tally to eight with a deadlock-breaking goal for Argentina in their ensuing match against Mexico.
Still, Mbappe’s ascent to this all-time list of all-time great strikers has been as staggering as his speed on the pitch. You know, he had just scored his first goal in the World Cup in Russia four years ago.
Currently, in the history of the World Cup scoring list, the legendary German striker Miroslav Klose tops the list with 16 goals. He participated in four World Cups, played 24 games, and averaged 0.67 goals per game. Could Mbappe surpass Klose’s record? According to his 9 games with 7 goals and an average efficiency of 0.78 goals per game, 13 games are still needed. The question is, can he maintain this efficiency?
Mbappe has always maintained an innocence about football, which is his greatest weapon in chasing goals. As the famous England star Alan Shearer said: “On the court, Mbappé is like a child on a playground. As long as he gets the ball, you can hear his roar.”
On November 26, Danish player Joachim Anderson (first from left) and French player Mbappe (second from right) scrambled in the game.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Wang Lili
Of course, the upper limit of Mbappe’s goals in the World Cup depends not only on himself, but also on the overall performance of the French team. Klose’s ability to break the record is due to the stable performance of the German team from 2002 to 2014. “God K” scored 16 goals in four World Cups. If the French team can reach the finals in this World Cup and the next World Cup, Mbappe may surpass Klose and become the top scorer in World Cup history.
At that time, Mbappe will only be 27 years old, and even by the 2030 World Cup, he will still have the opportunity to continue to refresh his own record at the age of 31. And considering that the 2026 World Cup will expand to 48 teams, the strength gap in the group stage may widen, and it will be easier to score goals in theory.
Whether you want to admit it or not, Messi and Ronaldo’s last dance at the World Cup in Qatar may be the opening performance of the Mbappe era.
Some people will say that Mbappe will never be able to compare with Maradona, Ronaldo, and even C Ronaldo, who shine with the “light of the savior”, and his “one trick” breakthrough is amazing, but compared to Messi’s football aesthetics are still slightly inferior to three points.
On November 26, French player Mbappe (right) celebrated after scoring a goal.Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Xiao Yijiu
However, the era of individual heroism in football has become a thing of the past. The higher the level of competition, the more emphasis will be placed on the overall and precise operation. Such personal heroism may no longer appear on the football field in the future. And Mbappé may just be the spokesperson of a new era.
Of course, the 23-year-old Mbappe seems to have had a smooth career before. However, the wind knows the strength of the grass, and only when facing extreme pressure can a star’s true character be tested. For Mbappe in the future, he must bravely throw away the protective cocoon of the new star in order to transform into the spiritual leader of the “Gallic Rooster”, standing shoulder to shoulder with predecessors such as Platini and Zidane.
Qatar World Cup, will we witness this happen? How will it happen? We don’t know anything about it, and that’s the beauty of football.
It was late at night, when the sea breeze gently brushed over the quiet 974 stadium, and the waning moon disappeared on the horizon. One era is ending, and another era is quietly beginning.