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World Qualifiers 2022 - Finland - France: The head game, symbol of perfectionism in the style of Kylian Mbappé (PSG)

World Qualifiers 2022 – Finland – France: The head game, symbol of perfectionism in the style of Kylian Mbappé (PSG)

It was too weird not to emphasize it. Kylian Mbappé did everything in Kazakhstan last Saturday. A recital, both on an individual level with his quadruple, and on his desire to serve the group, sending a decisive pass to Karim Benzema, or offering a penalty to Antoine Griezmann. But one gesture drew particular attention. It was this header that allowed him to score the third French goal. We can underline the quality of the Kingsley Coman center or the random marking of the opposing defense. But this goal is nonetheless symbolic.

The game of the head is a workhorse for Mbappé. One of the anomalies in the exceptional statistics shown by the 22-year-old. Of his 166 professional goals for Monaco and PSG, in all competitions, only eight were in the lead. And the paradox goes even further. The Parisian striker has scored twice as many headed goals in four years in Paris (2) than in a single season, which had seen him explode at the highest level, with ASM in 2016-17 (4). He has already corrected the shots a bit since this summer by finding the head nets twice, against Brest (2-4), then Reims (0-2), at the start of the season.

“This is not a high-level head game”

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This new goal from the skull against Kazakhstan confirmed this trend. “Friday I scored in training with my neck warmerthe Parisian forward joked after Saturday’s game. The coach was crying out for luck, so it’s a stroke of fate. It is true that I do not have a great head game but since this year I have already improved a lot. It’s not a high-level head game, but it’s starting to look a bit more like what I want to be. I will continue working to mark others. “

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Didier Deschamps did not stop greeting the march of his forward in the airfield. And to encourage you to continue your efforts to make your brain game a new asset in a range that is not lacking. “It is a very pleasant evening for him personally., stressed the technician at a press conference after the victory against Kazakhstan. Little by little he begins to be efficient with his head, and since he has a perfectionist mentality, he will be able to continue to make many differences and be efficient. Everything he does makes accountants panic.

The example of Zamorano

That’s the goal and Mbappé really spares no effort to get there. His speed, his technical quality and his sense of goal already allow him to be among the top scorers on the planet. But the Bondynois has never been satisfied with its natural qualities. Nor live with their faults. He never stops working to become the most complete and competitive scorer possible. Correcting your mental game deficiencies is an important part of this process. He must deal in particular with a size deficit (1.78m) that does not favor defenders.

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But the best leading players are not necessarily the tallest in size. Mbappé has a good example to follow with Chilean legend Iván Zamorano who was the same height as him. And who made up for this disadvantage with exceptional timing and an innate sense of location. What Mbappé has been working on for a long time, despite his ability to score differently. “I manage to score, but head on I’m not very good, declared after a dazzling match against Nîmes, where he had signed a double in October 2020. I’m working on that, it’s one of my big gaps. He’s a little better, but still not what it takes to be a good leader. “

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It is this mindset that sets you apart from others. And that allows you to always aim higher. Even if the process is long and inevitably goes through failures. This can lead to misunderstandings. Mbappé has also put the set piece as the axis of advance and his willingness to shoot free and corner is not always well received. This was particularly the case during the last European Championship with the French team. His ineffectiveness in this exercise has earned him even more criticism since the Blues have a recognized pyrotechnic in the person of Antoine Griezmann.

The PSG forward will not give up his efforts until now. To be successful in this area, as in the head game, is the goal that has been set. For statistics, certainly. To become the top scorer, safer. The one who knows how to score with both feet, head and set pieces. Like Cristiano Ronaldo. CR7 was Mbappé’s youth idol. His perfectionism pushed him to the highest heights. And it is no coincidence that the French continues to be inspired by the mentality of the Portuguese.

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