France forward Kylian Mbappe admitted that he hid his back injury from Belgium during the World Cup semifinal, and hid it for the final against Croatia.
Mbappe was voted young player of the competition after scoring 4 goals.
The 19-year old reportedly hurt three vertebrae in his back when picking his things up to go for a shower.
“The most important thing was making sure that our opponents did not find out,” Mbappe said, according to France Football. “They could have taken advantage of that and targeted this sensitive area. The players and the staff kept it hidden — even for the final.”
While many said he had “arrogance” during the World Cup, he says it was just his confidence.
“Being honest, it was in my mind for some time,” Mbappe 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.”
Mbappe said he hopes to be in contention for the Ballon d’Or alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Raphael Varane and PSG teammate Neymar.
“I would put Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Raphael Varane… and me,” he said.