Denmark attacker Jesper Lindstrom believes France’s “crazy team” should reach the final of the World Cup, at the very least.
Kylian Mbappe scored twice on Saturday as the World Cup holders became the first team to seal a place in the round of 16 in Qatar with a 2-1 win over the Danes. It is the first time the reigning champions have reached the knockout stage since Brazil in 2006.
Andreas Christensen cancelled out Mbappe’s opener at Stadium 974, but the Paris Saint-Germain forward bundled home from Antoine Griezmann’s cross to claim the points in Group D.
Mbappe was the star performer in Doha, but Griezmann, Ousmane Dembele, Aurelien Tchouameni, Adrien Rabiot and Olivier Giroud were all excellent too.
With such a star-studded squad, Eintracht Frankfurt forward Lindstrom sees no reason why France should not reach the tournament’s showpiece match on December 18.
“Look at the team, I think they should at least go to the final,” Lindstrom said.
“They have game-winners. Mbappe, Dembele, Griezmann, Tchouameni… even on the bench, they have a crazy team.
“I think the game is always open when you play against Dembele and Mbappe, it’s always going to be difficult with their speed.”
1 – France are the first nation to reach the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup. This is the first time the reigning champions have reached the round of 16 since Brazil in 2006. Champions. #FRADAN pic.twitter.com/9mArtA7klC
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) November 26, 2022
Despite failing to score, France dominated the first half, having 13 shots and accumulating 0.99 expected goals (xG) to Denmark’s 0.05, with Kasper Schmeichel pulling off two fine saves.
Having netted in the final in Russia four years ago, and in the 4-1 win over Australia on Tuesday, Mbappe is just the second player to score in three successive World Cup games for France since Just Fontaine, who scored in six consecutive appearances at the 1958 tournament.
Mbappe is now onto 31 goals for Les Bleus, netting 14 times in his last 12 games.
“He’s one of them – top quality,” Lindstrom replied when asked if Mbappe was the best player he had faced.
“He scored two goals, so we can’t say we defended him well, but our wing-back was close to him. But you see he has the qualities to score when he gets the chances.”
Rasmus Kristensen was the defender tasked with marking Mbappe, and the Leeds United right-back reflected: “Difficult. A good player, a really, really good player.
“For me maybe the best in the world. It’s a privilege playing against the best. I was just trying to do my best.”