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10th Jul 2018

Kylian Mbappe went full Fifa in semi-final victory over Belgium

Good grief

Darragh Murphy

Gary Neville pretty much summed up what we were all thinking after Kylian Mbappe pulled off an outrageous piece of skill against Belgium.

Mbappe turned it back on again as France secured a place in Sunday’s World Cup final with a 1-0 victory over Roberto Martinez’s side on Tuesday night.

After having something of an off day against Uruguay in the quarter-finals, Mbappe looked much more like the dazzling forward who ran Argentina ragged a few days earlier.

The 19-year-old sprinted at the Belgium defence from kick-off at the Saint Petersburg Stadium and the game quickly became a personal battle between him and Eden Hazard with regards to who would steal the show.

One beautiful trick in the 57th minute left little doubt about whose night it was as Mbappe played in teammate Olivier Giroud with the kind of pass that you only ever see in video games from the Fifa franchise.

Neville was baffled while Rio Ferdinand, who was in the BBC studio offering his analysis of the game, provided the perfect audio accompaniment.

After confirmation arrived a few hours earlier that Cristiano Ronaldo was heading to Juventus, it was suggested that Real Madrid would be looking at one of three high-profile options as a potential replacement for their departing talisman.

Mbappe, Hazard and Neymar were identified as the most likely targets and after his performance in the World Cup semi-final, the exceptional French youngster seems like the perfect fit for Ronaldo’s shoes.