France roared back against Argentina to reach the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday as wonderkid Kylian Mbappe sent Lionel Messi home from Russia empty-handed following a seven-goal thriller.
The 1998 champions won 4-3 and looked a totally different side from the one that struggled to find their cutting edge in the group stage, pouring forward with pace and purpose to stretch the ageing Argentine defence in Kazan.
Antoine Griezmann gave France the lead from the penalty spot but the South Americans levelled with a sweet hit from Angel Di Maria and edged ahead shortly after half-time through Gabriel Mercado.
But defender Benjamin Pavard equalised with a thunderous strike to pull France level and once more change the complexion of the game.
That set the scene for 19-year-old Mbappe, who netted two goals in four second-half minutes to become the first teenager to score at least twice in a World Cup match since Pele in 1958.
Sergio Aguero gave Argentina late hope but they ran out of time and head home after a rollercoaster ride in Russia that ultimately ends in bitter disappointment for the two-time former champions.
Man-of-the-match Mbappe brushed off comparisons with Brazil great Pele.
“I’m very happy, and it’s flattering to be compared to a great player like Pele,” he said.
“But he’s in another category. Still, it’s great to join the list of players that have achieved such feats.”