His team lost the World Cup final, but France forward Kylian Mbappe has won the FIFA Golden Boot trophy, after scoring the most goals in the tournament.
He grabbed two assists and scored a total of eight goals, including three against Argentina on Sunday in an exhilarating final at Lusail Stadium.
His PSG teammate and Argentina’s captain Lionel Messi scored the second-most goals, with seven and three assists.
Messi’s teammate Julian Alvarez finished third with five goals to his name, while France’s Olivier Giroud was unable to add to his tally of four after being substituted in the first half of the final.
Mbappe’s total of eight goals in Qatar is the joint highest at a single World Cup since Gerd Muller scored 10 times in 1970 (also Ronaldo, eight in 2002), but that will come as little consolation to the forward following France’s painful defeat.
The 23-year-old entered Sunday’s game level with Messi on five goals and twice fell behind in his battle against the Argentina captain in an exhilarating contest.
Messi became the first player to reach 20 World Cup goal involvements when he opened the scoring with a penalty following Ousmane Dembele’s trip on Angel Di Maria, who then capped a flowing move to put Argentina 2-0 up.
However, Mbappe was gifted a route back into the battle atop the goalscoring charts with 10 minutes remaining, tucking a penalty home after Nicolas Otamendi fouled Randal Kolo Muani.
Mbappe then moved clear in the race for the Golden Boot in incredible fashion 97 seconds later, lashing a first-time volley beyond Emiliano Martinez to force extra time.
Messi looked to have sealed the award – and the trophy for his country – once again when he prodded Argentina back in front in extra time, but Mbappe responded with yet another spot-kick when Gonzalo Montiel was penalised for handball.
Mbappe followed up his heroics by converting the first penalty of the shootout but misses from Kingsley Coman and Aurelien Tchouameni saw his campaign end in a heart-breaking fashion as Argentina claimed their third title.
Having netted in 2018’s win against Croatia, Mbappe is now the highest-scoring player in World Cup final history with four, while his overall tally of 12 goals at the tournament puts him level with three-time champion Pele.- Al Jazeera