Few players transcend football like France and Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappé as the 23-year-old is set to lead Les Bleus in their opening Group D fixture at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar against unheralded Australia at Al Janoub Stadium.
The holding World Cup champions are motivated to retain their crown and become just the third nation to repeat as tournament winners, with sixty years separating the last time a nation achieved that feat when Brazil won in 1962 in Sweden.
And while a huge storyline coming into the tournament for France comes through the possibility that Olivier Giroud could eclipse Thierry Henry’s all-time goalscoring record for the national team should he find the back of the net on three occasions in Qatar, Mbappé is the talk of the town tonight after he has become the youngest player in French history to reach 60-caps.
Still just 23, Mbappé has eclipsed the likes of Paul Pogba, the injured Karim Benzema, and France legend Patrick Vieira as other players to reach that same threshold at a relatively young age, but it continues to speak to the influence that the Parisian star has garnered in one of the games top nations both at club and international level.
For France, Mbappé will undoubtedly be vital once more as he was four years ago when the nation took home its second World Cup win, and that importance is set to play an even more vital role than anticipated after Benzema’s untimely injury stripped Didier Deschamps of his preferred starting center-forward.
With 28 goals for his country coming into proceedings, many will now expect Mbappé to regularly feature on the scoresheet on his way to hopefully pushing France to a historic title defense.