Lionel Messi praised Kylian Mbappe after scoring a hat-trick in the World Cup final and said it was a surprise his performance was not enough for France to lift the trophy.
Messi won his first world title with Argentina after beating France 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw in Qatar.
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The Argentina captain scored twice, while his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Mbappe became only the second player in history to score a hat-trick in a Men’s World Cup final.
“It was a really amazing final. It was amazing how the match went,” Messi told PSG TV on Monday. “Kilian scored three great goals in the final! It was crazy not to be champion after that.
“But he also won it and he knows what it’s like to be a world champion. Yes, it was a great final for the world of football. It’s true that it’s good to play in the same team with him now, and I hope we can do great things in Paris.”
Messi also beat Mbappe to win the FIFA Men’s Player of the Year award last month, and the 35-year-old says he feels settled in France after a difficult debut campaign.
“Yes, it is true that I feel very good,” he said. “The first year I needed a little time to adapt to Paris for various reasons, but I started this season really different, with a lot of desire.
“I feel comfortable with the club, the city, the whole meaning of Paris. To be honest, I’m really enjoying this season. I think my whole life has been like this.
“It’s about dedication, work, effort and wanting more every day. I’ve come to a new club and I want to win the title with Paris to achieve the big goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the season.”
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PSG travel to Bayern Munich in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday, and Messi said the team are determined to turn things around to overturn a 1-0 deficit.
“We are going to Munich, where it will be a very difficult match, like the first one,” he said. “It’s all about the little things, especially in this stadium where it’s very difficult to win.
“But I think if we do everything right, we can turn things around. We want to continue our journey in the Champions League. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
The French champions are without star forward Neymar, who is out for the rest of the season with a foot injury.