That’s all well and good and important. But what’s more important is we discuss this pass that was just made by 19-year-old Kylian Mbappé, which is one of the more incredible things I’ve ever seen in my life and has me hyperventilating at my desk.
This is a two-touch drag and heel flick to beat an offside trap and play in a striker, done instantly, in a World Cup semifinal, by a 19-year-old.
That pass is ridiculous. That pass is impossible. That’s something you try in training as a laugh, and sometimes it works, and your teammates giggle and tackle you for being so cheeky. That’s not something you try in a World Cup semifinal.
Mbappé did try it, though, and it worked, because he’s a generational genius. Well, actually, it sort of worked. And that brings me to the next thing I want to discuss: I will never forgive Olivier Giroud for not finishing this.
I say this as an Olivier Giroud defender. I think fans are way too hard on him, especially Arsenal fans, who were beyond too hard on him. I think he’s a great striker who does more things well than he does poorly, and most teams in the world would be lucky to have him. He’s a solid hold-up player and an underrated runner and he’s had plenty of big goals in big moments. We are all way too hard on Giroud, and have been for years.
At least, that’s what I thought 10 minutes ago. I now renounce everything nice I’ve ever said about Giroud. If Giroud buries that chance, we are watching that pass from Mbappé for the next 50 years. I’m not even kidding. That goal becomes an iconic World Cup goal if Giroud takes the chance and buries it.
He didn’t. He kinda got it stuck under his feet, and didn’t get the shot off quickly enough, and now I’m left writing this dumb blog instead of running through the streets naked, which I would have done had he buried that opportunity.