It’s just the beginning, says Mbappe as Perisic disputes penalty call

Best Young Player awardee Kylian Mbappe, just 19 years old, said this was only the beginning, a stepping stone to achieve bigger things.

“I am happy, I’m very happy. But as I said, it’s different, the game is different for all the players. As I said, there are players who are around 30 years old, who worked all their career to reach this goal. For me, it’s just the beginning. So for me, it’s a big step, but it’s a step to go much further.”

Defender N’golo Kante said this was the fulfillment of a long held ambition. His co-defender Raphael Varane, holding the World Cup trophy as his teammates walked to the bus, said they could already smell victory the moment they scored the fourth goal.

France managed to overcome mistakes and imperfections in their WorldCup final victory over Croatia with sheer mental strength to lift the trophy for the second time, coach Didier Deschamps said.

Croatian midfielder Luka Modric said, “We represented Croatia in the best possible way in this final, it is a big deal. We are a little sad to lose of course, we can’t be happy, but with time we will realise just how much we accomplished here. No matter that we lost today, however hard it is, we need to be proud and leave with our head held high and we have no remorse, we tried our best, it just didn’t work out but we should be proud of our performance throughout this tournament and in this final.”

Croatia coach Ratko Dalic said a penalty like the one awarded using video assistance should not be a deciding factor in a World Cup final. The VAR-decided spot-kick made Croatia furious and was arguably the turning-point of the game.

Defender Dejan Lovren said that despite the second place finish, their team showed how big they could be.

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