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Mbappe hid back injury from France at World Cup

France v Peru: Group C - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

YEKATERINBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 21: Kylian Mbappe of France celebrates with teammate Antoine Griezmann after scoring his team’s first goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group C match between France and Peru at Ekaterinburg Arena on June 21, 2018 in Yekaterinburg, Russia. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

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Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe improved his stock significantly at the 2018 World Cup, and the teenage sensation did so for France’s final two matches with a back injury, according to the player.

The 19-year-old recently stated that he and his teammates were forced to hide a back injury for the semifinal against Belgium and final against Croatia in order to ensure he would have the survive the tournament without further damage.

“The most important thing was making sure that our opponents did not find out,” Mbappe said. “They could have taken advantage of that and targeted this sensitive area. The players and the staff kept it hidden -- even for the final.”

Throughout the competition, Mbappe tallied four goals for Les Bleus and played an integral role as the leader of the French attack due to his exceptional pace and skill on the ball.

Even prior to kick off in Russia though, the young PSG star had his sights sets on a World Cup win and says he believed all along that his squad could bring home the glory.

“Being honest, it was in my mind for some time,” he said. “For me, from the beginning, I was convinced that we had everything that we needed to go all the way.

“I said it before the World Cup started and some saw it as arrogance -- it was simply my conviction. I came for the trophy and I left with it -- I was programmed to win.”