France forward Kylian Mbappe said he is focused on his “dream” of a second consecutive World Cup title after firing the defending champions into the quarterfinals in Qatar on Sunday. Mbappe scored two goals and provided an assist as France beat Poland 3-1 to set up a clash against either England or Senegal in the last eight.
The 23-year-old has already scored five time this tournament, taking his overall World Cup tally to nine goals.
“I’m not thinking about the Golden Ball or Golden Boot awarded to the World Cup’s best player and highest scorer, (respectively),” the Paris Saint-Germain forward said, reports Xinhua. “The only objective for me is to win the World Cup. Right now, the quarterfinal is the most important thing. It’s the only thing I dream about. I came here to win the World Cup and help the national team, not anything else.”
Mbappe also explained why he hadn’t spoken to the media during the tournament until Sunday.
“I have nothing personal against journalists. I’ve just needed to focus on football and the tournament. When I want to concentrate on something that’s the way I function. I learned that the French football association would get fined and I said I would pay it because I don’t think they should pay on my behalf.
The former Monaco player, added: “I wanted to be ready for this tournament and so far things are going well. But we are still a long way from our objective and now we have to focus on the quarterfinal.
“We are delighted to get through to the quarterfinals. It was a difficult game (against Poland). We played a tough side and managed to score goals at important times during the match. Even though we didn’t play as well as we could have, we won and we’re delighted.”
Meanwhile, Poland coach Czeslaw Michniewicz admitted his team had no answer to Mbappe after the Paris Saint-Germain forward guided France to victory in the round of 16.
“There is no recipe to stop Mbappe in the form that he’s in now,” Michniewicz told a news conference. “He’s a fantastic player and he harmed us today. But I’m cheering for him. He’s a real star. Now we have (Lionel) Messi, (Cristiano) Ronaldo and (Robert) Lewandowski but somebody is going to take over from them and I think that Mbappe will be that player in the coming years.”
Michniewicz was disappointed at bowing out of the tournament but said Poland should be proud of reaching knockout stage for the first time since 1986.
“We are sad and disappointed,” he said. “We had our chances in the first half and if we had scored first maybe it would have been different.”
“But as time goes on, the perspective might change. After a few weeks or months we’ll be able to say that we achieved something that Poland wasn’t able to do for 36 years.”
Michniewicz refused to be drawn on whether he will continue in charge of the team, saying it was not the time to discuss his future. He had words of support for 34-year-old striker Robert Lewandowski, who scored just one goal from open play in the tournament, amid speculation that he could have played his last World Cup game.
“As a coach I shouldn’t talk about the future of Robert Lewandowski,” he said. “He should decide. I think he should be the captain for years to come. Let’s see if he plays in the next World Cup.
“The expectations on him are huge, as they are for Messi and Ronaldo. His situation (in the national team) is difficult because of the style we play. It’s different to the teams like Portugal and France who pass the ball closer to the penalty area.”