Young World Cup Star Gives Away Winnings

Pele praises Kylian Mbappe
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2018 3:25 AM CDT
France's Kylian Mbappe holds the award for best young player at the end of the final match between France and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, July...   (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
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(Newser) – Young French soccer star Kylian Mbappe had an amazing World Cup and while some say it's far too early to compare him to Pele, Pele does not agree. After France's win Sunday, the 77-year-old Brazilian soccer legend, the only other person to score in a World Cup final as a teenager, tweeted: "If Kylian keeps equalling my records like this I may have to dust my boots off again." Mbappe, 19, is also the only person after Pele to have scored two goals in a World Cup as a teenager. The Paris St. Germain player, who scored a total of four goals in the tournament, received the World Cup Best Young Player Award.

But the hype around Mbappe does not appear to have gone to his head. The teen, who grew up in a deprived part of Paris, is donating all his earnings from the World Cup to a charity that helps disabled children take part in sports and carries out disability training in schools, USA Today reports. Mbappe's earnings on the national team included a $350,000 bonus for France winning the tournament, which it last did in 1998—a few months before he was born. In a rave review of Mbappe's World Cup performance, Chuck Culpepper at the Washington Post predicts that the "sounds that crowds repeatedly made at the soaring 21st World Cup figure to ripple across the Earth for an Mbappe decade to come." (Mbappe also high-fived a Pussy Riot member Sunday.)

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