France has one of the most stacked lineups in this World Cup, a roster full of generational talents, some of the most exciting players in the world. Paul Pogba. Antoine Griezmann. N’Golo Kante. Ousmane Dembele. Kylian Mbappe.
They also have Benjamin Pavard.
Pavard isn’t a bad player by any stretch of the imagination. He’s good! He’s fine. He plays his club ball for VfB Stuttgart and does a nice job for them. He plays right back for the France national team because, well, he can do a job. Here’s how my colleague Kim McCauley described him in the first half:
A perfect World Cup winning side has exactly one player, no more or less, that you're absolutely baffled about making the team, and Pavard fits the bill perfectly— Yung Challenger Kim (@lgbtqfc) June 30, 2018
That’s Pavard! A perfectly fine player who everyone is sort of confused by.
Then he went and did this to tie the game in France vs. Argentina:
Look at this thing!
This is the perfect thing this game needed. Argentina were being totally dominated, then they went up 2-1 off a worldie from Angel Di Maria and a bizarre deflected shot in off Mercado. What everyone thought was going to be a tense 1-0 type thing has blown wide open. A 19-year-old Kylian Mbappe is scoring at will. Argentina isn’t playing a striker and subbed off their center back at halftime. The game is lunacy.
So of course it’s Pavard who hits a one-time volley to tie it up. It had to be Pavard. Who else could it be to add a bit of spice to a game that doesn’t make any sense it all?
Today will belong to Kylian Mbappe, who created the first goal, and has scored two of his own. But a game this crazy needed a moment of wild randomness, and Pavard provided it.