Rio Ferdinand hails Kylian Mbappe’s performance as better than Lionel Messi’s against Australia

‘Today was the most explosive performance’: Rio Ferdinand hails Kylian Mbappe’s two-goal display as better than Lionel Messi’s display against Australia… but Mauricio Pochettino says France still have ‘areas to improve’

Rio Ferdinand hailed Kylian Mbappe’s performance in France’s round-of-16 victory over Poland – perhaps outranking Lionel Messi’s landmark role in Argentina’s victory the previous day.

Mbappe’s brace helped Les Bleus to a 3-1 win over Poland, although Didier Deschamps’ men did not have it all their own way at the Al Thumama Stadium.

Speaking to the BBC after the Poland game, pundit Ferdinand said the 23-year-old’s performance was full of “confidence” and could be compared to Messi’s role at the center of Argentina’s 2-1 win over Australia to also reach the quarters. finals.

Ferdinand said: “Yesterday I spoke about Messi as the best performance. Today [Mbappe] was the most explosive performance, devastating in all areas.’

Kylian Mbappe scored twice to help France progress from their last 16 clash with Poland

His double took Mbappe to nine World Cup goals across the four he scored in 2018 and the five he has scored this time around to lead the Golden Boot race.

However, Poland more than matched France at least during the first half, until Olivier Giroud’s opener, which made him France’s all-time top male goalscorer.

Mbappe’s two goals comfortably sealed Deschamps and his squad into the quarter-finals, although their clean sheet was spoiled by Robert Lewandowski’s consolation penalty.

Mauricio Pochettino said France must improve to go much further in the competition as they will face a tough challenge regardless of whether they face England or Senegal in the next round.

Rio Ferdinand said Mbappe's performance was

Rio Ferdinand said Mbappe’s performance was “the most explosive” of the World Cup so far

Lionel Messi was a central figure in Argentina's 2-1 victory over Australia on Saturday

Lionel Messi was a central figure in Argentina’s 2-1 victory over Australia on Saturday

The former Spurs manager said it was a “professional performance for France – job done.” When you have Mbappe in your team, today, he did his job amazingly. He is an amazing talent.

“Now I think it’s time to do some analysis. France needs to improve a lot. They have to push the level up, the quality. If they want to be real contenders, they need to play as a team. Today they were too much in a difficult situation”.

Former France defender Laura Georges said she was “relieved” by the win and Mbappe’s star performance, but said the national side needed to figure out “how to use it better”.

Pochettino previously managed Mbappe at PSG and revealed the 23-year-old would spend several days a week training for shots like the other goal he scored.

Former PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino said France must improve for Saturday's game

Former PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino said France must improve for Saturday’s game

The 50-year-old ex-Argentina player said: “He’s unstoppable – the quality, the capacity to strike, the technique is so, so good. It’s a nightmare for the full-back. It is impossible.’

Ferdinand said: “You feel he plays with the opponents. He’s so good, he’s so fast, he’s so explosive, he feels like he can go past anybody on that pitch. “There is no one who can stop me.” It’s the confidence.

“It makes it impossible for defenders. I just love being in the stadium and watching players like this and what they can do. It’s interesting what Mauricio said, there is still improvement.

Former France defender Laura Georges was relieved her country had come through the match

Former France defender Laura Georges was relieved her country had come through the match

Mbappe now leads the World Cup race for the Golden Boot in Qatar with five goals and two assists

Mbappe now leads the World Cup race for the Golden Boot in Qatar with five goals and two assists

Of the PSG man, host Gary Lineker said: “He lights up the place when he gets the ball.”

While Georges went on to explain two possible ways to stop Mbappe. She said: “The defender has to be very quick, and a centre-back who always follows the other run. If you cut the distribution, you have to be really dense.

Poland started the match very well, they were very tight, close to each other. But you have to be very focused during the match.

France’s next match takes place on Saturday against the winner of Sunday’s late clash between England and Senegal.

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