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Wednesday , November 21 2018

Pavard’s goal against Argentina voted best of World Cup

Benjamin Pavard has beaten Juan Quintero into second place in a fans’ online vote to pick the best goal of the World Cup.

France defender Pavard’s spinning right-foot shot against Argentina in the round of 16 came top out of 18 candidates for the award.

More than three million votes were logged on FIFA’s website, soccer’s world governing body said Wednesday.

Pavard turned around France’s fortunes, minutes after the team trailed for the only time in the tournament. His goal leveled the score at 2-2 before France went on to beat Argentina 4-3. France went on to win the tournament, beating Croatia in the final.

Quintero scored for Colombia with a slow-rolling free kick under a jumping Japanese wall of defenders in a group-stage game.

Luka Modric’s long-range goal for Croatia against Argentina was voted into third place.

Meanwhile, France striker Kylian Mbappe has revealed he played the World Cup semifinals and final with a back injury he hid from his rivals.

In an interview with France Football magazine, Mbappe says he displaced three vertebrae in his back during the tournament in Russia three days before France defeated Belgium 1-0 in the semifinals. France won the World Cup with a 4-2 victory over Croatia in the final. (AP)

“It was essential not to alert our opponents, otherwise they could have taken advantage of that and targeted this sensitive area,” said Mbappe, who scored four goals in the tournament including one in the final. “That’s the reason why with the staff and the players we kept it hidden, even for the final.”

The 19-year-old Mbappe was one of the stars of the tournament and picked up the award for the best young player at the World Cup. He became the youngest player to score two goals in a World Cup game since Pele in 1958, and also became the first teenager since Pele to score in a World Cup final.

Mbappe, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain in the French league, also told the magazine he hopes he can be a contender for the Golden Ball award alongside his PSG teammate Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane. (AP)

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