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30 Jun 2018

High praise! Drogba hails France star Mbappe as he sends Lionel Messi and Co packing

Kylian Mbappe may still be in his teenage years, but he has already shown enough talent to be considered a complete striker, according Didier Drogba.

Mbappe, 19, proved what a prodigious talent he is with two second-half goals against Argentina in Saturday's opening World Cup round of 16 tie.

It was a telling contribution and one that seemed to justify his position as the second-most expensive footballer on the planet following his £164million move to Paris Saint-Germain.

His brace, which sealed a 4-3 win over Lionel Messi's Argentina, not only had the whole of France dreaming of a second World Cup triumph, but also left four striking legends — Drogba, Alan Shearer, Jurgen Klinsmann and Gary Lineker — singing his praises.
Speaking on BBC, former Chelsea striker Drogba said: 'He has everything. He is the complete striker at 19.'

Agreeing with his fellow pundit, Shearer added: 'Blistering pace, technique, goals, touch- he has the lot. You have four centre-forwards in this room who are applauding Kylian Mbappe.

'We spoke about Messi and Mbappe before the game and one of them turned up. Nineteen years of age, and to put in a performance like that when Messi is at the other end [is remarkable].

'When you're looking at a centre-forward, obviously you're looking for goals but also the pace and the touch. He delivered all of that tonight. It was an incredible performance.'

Speaking with a level head, former Germany striker Klinsmann finished: 'There is so much potential in him. You can only hope that he stays with his feet on the ground but there is a lot to come from him.'

Comparisons with one of the greatest strikers ever, Pele, were inevitable after the final whistle due to the fact that Mbappe became the first teenager to score multiple goals in a World Cup knockout match since the Brazilian did so in 1958.

Pele, who scored 12 goals at World Cup finals and lifted the trophy three times, hit the net twice in the final against Sweden. With the Scandinavian side currently on the other side of the draw, there is a slight chance Mbappe will get the chance to emulate that achievement.

Mbappe now has three goals at the World Cup, putting him in contention for the Golden Boot alongside Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo, Belgium's Romelu Lukaku and England's Harry Kane. Ronaldo and Lukaku have four goals to their name following the groups stages while Kane leads with five.

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