By Thomas Reynolds
Last Updated: 14th July 2018
Having starred as France booked their place in the 2018 World Cup final, Kylian Mbappe, is on course to make history.
Mbappe to score first odds are 9/2, while he’s 15/8 in the anytime goalscorer betting.
The terrifyingly fast front man has struck three times so far in Russia and played six key passes against Belgium alone, numbers sure to have fatigued Croatian rearguard quaking in their boots.
How rare is starting, let alone scoring in the World Cup Final for a teenager?
Rarer than steak tartare. In the 88-year-history of the World Cup only ten teenagers have even featured in the squad of a nation that reached the final.
Of those ten, six did so pre-1960, eight had registered their achievement before 1970, and just one, a 17-year-old Ronaldo (to whom Mbappe has often been compared) at USA ’94, featured in a squad since 1982.
The fact that, barring a training ground injury or an unfortunate illness, an Mbappe World Cup final start looks a formality, has even fewer precedents.
How many teenagers before Mbappe have played in a World Cup final?
Since the first Coupe du Monde was contested in 1930, only three players aged 20 or under have played any part in the tournament’s deciding game, will all of them starting.
Uruguayan outside left Ruben Moran (19) in 1950, Pele (pictured above) for Brazil (17) in 1958 and Giuseppe Bergomi (18), who played right-back for Italy in 1982 are the trio in question.
Portentously for Mbappe and Les Bleus, all three teen World Cup Final starters went on to earn a winner’s medal. France to win the World Cup is currently priced up at odds of 8/13.
Surprisingly for those interested in the PSG starlet’s Golden Ball odds of EVS ahead of the decider, neither Pele, who scored five times across the semis and final alone in ’58, nor Bergomi were recognised with the award for the tournament’s best player.
How many teenagers before Mbappe have scored in a World Cup final?
While he would be far from the youngest player to have scored at a World Cup finals, for Killian Mbappe to notch in the World Cup final itself would be an achievement of next-to-unique magnitude, with Pele the only man below the age of 20 ever to have done so before.