More than a few quizzical eyebrows were raised when Benjamin Pavard sneaked into the France World Cup squad, with many neutral onlookers largely unfamiliar with the Stuttgart defender’s work.
Since then, the 22-year-old started six of Les Bleus’ seven matches in Russia including the final, lifted that golden trophy and found himself declared as the scorer of the ‘Goal of the Tournament’ – all in the space of a month or so.
Pavard scored his first ever international goal against Argentina in the last 16 and by ‘eck it was a pearler – sufficiently so, in fact, that fans voting on the FIFA website have officially selected it as the finest of all 169 goals netted at the 2018 World Cup.
A victory for Pavard, for France, and for exemplary technique.
That said, Pies definitely have a strong affinity for Ricardo Quaresma’s outside-of-the-boot bonanza against Iran.