Kylian Mbappé had a World Cup that made pundits drool.
The 19-year-old scored four goals in seven games and dazzled spectators with his mercurial pace and composure under pressure – and it helped France to victory on Sunday.
Sports Illustrated estimated Mbappé’s wages to be about $22,500 or some R300,000 a game, as well as a $350,000 (R4.6 million) bonus for winning the tournament. France played seven games throughout the World Cup, so Mbappé’s earnings most likely totalled just over R6.6 million – but he won’t see a cent of it.
L’Equipe reported that the French wunderkind was donating his winnings to Premiers de Cordée, a charity that offers sporting opportunities to children who are hospitalised or have disabilities.
Sebastien Ruffin, the charity’s general manager, told Le Parisien of Mbappé: “He’s a great person. When his schedule allows it, he intervenes for us with pleasure.”
Ruffin said Mbappé also had a “very good” relationship with the children and that he would always find the right words to encourage them, adding: “I sometimes even feel that he takes more pleasure to play with the kids than the kids themselves.”
Mbappé caught the attention of the soccer legend Pelé after he became the second-youngest player in history to score in a World Cup final. Their exchange on Twitter highlights Mbappé’s class and humility.
“He is the guy who will be standing up on that Ballon d’Or podium in years to come,” the former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand said after the final.
If Mbappé’s generosity continues to correlate with his talent, the world will be a better place for it.