France international Eintracht Frankfurt forward Randal Kolo Muani (24) has given a wide-ranging interview to L’Equipe. The former Nantes’ striker recalled the thrilling 2022 World Cup final between Les Bleus and Argentina. Kolo Muani started the final on the bench but he was thrown into action before half-time when he replaced an erratic Ousmane Dembélé (25). Kolo Muani’s drive and intensity gave France a lifeline and he has been widely considered the 2nd best performer behind Mbappé for France in December’s showpiece match.
It was “RKM” who won the penalty that Kylian Mbappé (24) scored to halve the deficit. “For me, I was just playing another football match,” Kolo Muani assessed. “I was so focused. I said to myself ‘Randal, play your football, like it’s the last game of your career.’ It was a World Cup final, I maxed myself out.“
Deep in injury time of extra-time, as both teams geared for a career-defining penalty shootout, France and Kolo Muani had the title up for grabs. Ibrahima Konaté (23) launched a long ball that caught the Argentina defence by surprise and enabled Kolo Muani to go one-on-one with Emiliano Martinez (30).
The Aston Villa goalie spread himself to thwart the Frankfurt man’s volley with a stunning save. “It could have changed my life,” admits the French forward. “When I watch it back, I realise I had so many possibilities. But on the pitch, it all goes so fast.” Kolo Muani admitted that, with hindsight, he could have squared the ball to the onrushing Mbappé, chipped the ball over Martinez or volleyed it to the keeper’s left.
The Bondy-born forward added: “I’m not going to forget it, ever. We were this close to bring home a third star. I’m not going to lie, that makes me mad.“
GFFN | Bastien Cheval