Kylian Mbappe, Monaco’s wunderkind du jour, sent yet another record tumbling at the weekend by scoring what proved to be the winning goal against Lyon.
As a result, Mbappe became the youngest player this century (18 years, 124 days) to reach 14 league goals in one of Europe’s so-called ‘top five’ leagues, thus breaking Wayne Rooney’s record.
Entirely unwittingly, the teenage striker’s goal also served to reignite one of contemporary football’s most deep-seated and bilious feuds – the burning schism of toxic hate that continues to bubble and fester between Nicolas Anelka and former France coach Raymond Domenech.
(If you’re unfamiliar with the link between the two then may we suggest Googling “France 2010 World Cup clusterf**k” or something similar).
Assessing Mbappe’s credentials in his column for L’Equipe, Domenech made sure to drop Anelka’s name into the equation, and not in a particularly favourable context:
I remember Ronaldo at the Olympics in 1996, and Mbappe is of this level – a world-class player.
It is up to him to manage this well: he has the choice between being a Ronaldo or an Anelka.
You just couldn’t let it lie, could you? You just couldn’t let it lie.
Of course, it wasn’t long before news of Domenech’s pointed jibe reached Anelka’s camp and, not exactly being renowned for his civil tongue, the former Chelsea and Arsenal forward exercised his right to reply.
Indeed, the response was just about as brutal and vindictive as you’d expect, telling Le Journal du Dimanche:
Yes, Mbappe could be like me – one of the best in the world, like Ronaldo – a legend, or maybe he could have a career like Domenech: an average Ligue 1 player, Under-21 coach for 15 years without winning anything, unemployed since 2010, and now writing a column for the newspaper that ended his little coaching career.
Ouch. Saltier than a bucket of brine.