World Cup: Kylian Mbappe’s classy four-word message to Newcastle United youngster Garang Kuol

Incoming Newcastle United forward Garang Kuol became the ninth youngest player in World Cup history as he came off the bench for Australia in Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat to holders France.

The 18-year-old, who will join Newcastle from Central Coast Mariners in January, came on for the closing stages of the match after France had netted their fourth goal. Kuol replaced Australia’s goalscorer Craig Goodwin in the match as play stopped briefly for the substitution.

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During the brief pause, France superstar Kylian Mbappe approached Kuol for a quick word and a sportsmanlike hand slap.

Garang Kuol of Australia shows dejection after the 1-4 defeat in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group D match between France and Australia at Al Janoub Stadium on November 22, 2022 in Al Wakrah, Qatar. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

“He said, ‘sup bro, you good?” Kuol said of his encounter with the Paris Saint-Germain forward.

Four years ago, Mbappe won the World Cup with France age just 19 and has since established himself as one of the top players in world football.

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Meanwhile Kuol is very much in the embryonic stages of his career having only signed his first professional contract in the summer.

And to come up against the world champions in Qatar was certainly an eye opener for the youngster.

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France's forward #10 Kylian Mbappe (C) shakes hands with Australia's midfielder #03 Nathaniel Atkinson at the end of the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group D football match between France and Australia at the Al-Janoub Stadium in Al-Wakrah, south of Doha on November 22, 2022. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

“To see six-foot-four people as quick as me just shows the big difference between me and some of those players,” Kuol admitted via CodeSports. “Only hard work is going to mean making it to that level. Good to get that taste.

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“It felt pretty long chasing France around! When I came on I was just excited to show what I can do. I think it’s something I need to look at with the coaches to see how I can get on the ball more.”

After the match, Kuol was also asked about his future transfer to Newcastle as he responded to The Athletic pointing at his black and white shoes: “I’ve been reading a lot of messages, a lot of support, people saying ‘welcome to the Toon’ and stuff. I’ll just send them a photo of these shoes!”

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While Kuol will officially join The Magpies in January, work permit issues are likely to see him loaned out to a European club in order to get additional experience and in turn assist his future work permit application to play football in England.