His Historic Goal Helped France Win The World Cup, But It’s One Charity That Really Scored

Kylian Mbappe is a "symbol of hope."

France soccer player Kylian Mbappe made history on the field when he became one of the youngest players to score a goal in a World Cup final. But he's also making a name for himself off the field. 

While fans have been praising his success, the cheers are loudest in his hometown of Bondy, located on the outskirts of Paris. According to CNN, Mbappe plans to donate his World Cup winnings to a local charity called Premiers de Cordée, which gets kids who are hospitalized involved in sports. 

Mbappe has reportedly been working with the charity for more than a year, and the organization is scheduled to receive his winnings — about $500,000 — in September. 

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"Children have stars in their eyes when they see Kylian," Premiers de Cordée spokeswoman Ninon Bardel told CNN. 

Bondy is known for its violence. The region has suffered from the riots, terrorist attacks and, according to CNN, was once even labeled a "no-go zone." However, Nabil Larbi, a city council member, said Mbappe has become "symbol of hope" to the town. 

"Mbappe is a pure product of Bondy," Larbi said. "Mbappe is from a mixed family; his father is from Cameroon, his mother is from Algeria and he is a mix of that. This is the image of Bondy and the image of the French team."

"When they play and train, they can say: 'I can be someone, I can be someone,' " he added, and as a result, he hopes the perception of Bondy will start to change. 

"I hope that the victory of France makes everybody in France remember that diversity is a strength and not the contrary," Larbi said. "Because of Kylian Mbappe, the spotlight is on the suburbs like Bondy."

Following his team's win on Sunday, Mbappe told ESPN that he is just getting started. "I am just trying to follow my own path. I am just starting out. I try to play as I have always done. I am breaking records. Scoring is always special," he said. "I have always been working toward moments like this one. This is not the end. I must continue, we must continue, because I have the ambition to go further."

"Winning a World Cup this early opens up many doors. What made me think two months ago that we could win it?" the heir apparent to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi said. "You must always believe. Quality is not always enough, but it is a good base. In a competition like this one, it is not only the most beautiful that win, but those who believe the most. We believed — iron belief."

Cover image: Vlad1988 / Shutterstock.com

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