Welcome to World Class: Kylian Mbappe
The date is November 7, 1993. All eyes are on the Brazilian side of Cruzeiro, who just won a 6-0 victory over Bahia.
It’s a score that made the headlines on its own, but the most exciting aspect of this game was the five-goal booty bagged by a 17-year-old named Ronaldo Nazario.
The game was one of those breaking moments, after which everyone who saw him had no doubts that Ronaldo was going to become a superstar. He was destined to be a future Ballon d’Or winner, or rather two-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Fast forward 23 years to October 21, 2016, when Monaco claimed a 6-2 victory over Montpellier thanks to one goal and two assists from 17-year-old Kylian Mbappe.
It was then that the world started to take notice of the young Frenchman, who had broken Thierry Henry’s record for youngest Monaco player less than 12 months earlier, but fans tried to temper their expectations for a player who had had more. growth spurts than senior appearances.
Their warning expired in February 2017, when Mbappe became the youngest player to score a Ligue 1 treble in a 5-0 win over Metz, and that match sparked a ridiculous run of form that is not yet finished.
In the four years since that game, Mbappe won four Ligue 1 titles. He reached a Champions League final. He finished seventh, fourth and sixth in the Ballon d’Or vote, and he also led France to the 2018 World Cup.
It’s the kind of impact of a young player that we haven’t seen since Ronaldo himself. Mbappe could retire now and has always had a career 99% of players could only dream of.
While most players his age are still finding their feet or starting to show signs of realizing their potential, Mbappe is already way beyond that. It is not a question of whether he will ever win the Ballon d’Or, but rather how many will he win?
He’s already one of the best strikers in world football and he has the kind of numbers to back it up. Mbappe scored his 100th goal for Paris Saint-Germain in just 137 appearances, only the already established Zlatan Ibrahimovic (124) did it faster.
Despite this obvious success, all the distinctions won by a PSG player are accompanied by an asterisk in the eyes of many fans. Ligue 1 isn’t as respected as most of the other big European leagues, and it’s not hard to find loot sports on social media that are quick to remind you of that.
However, Mbappe also broke Champions League records.
He is the youngest player to reach ten, 15 and 20 goals in the Champions League, and it is not unfathomable that he will soon add more milestones to his growing roster. Mbappe scores goals, and he does so against all types of competition in the world.
Just look at how much he is appreciated by those who have watched him for the full extent of Mbappe’s greatness.
“If you gave me € 1 billion, I wouldn’t sell it.”
– PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi.
“He is part of the group of the top five or six players who will soon dominate the world.”
– Arsène Wenger
“I don’t like comparing players – Mbappe has to become Mbappe and that’s it. But my word it is good. Ooh la la. I really like watching him play. ”
– Thierry Henry
“It’s a phenomenon. He is clearly going to be the best player in the world in the future. ”
– Cesc Fabregas
These are just four opinions, but it’s not hard to find countless more with the same message. Mbappe is already ridiculously good and still has about five years to go before he hits his peak. To say that the sky is its limit would be an injustice at the astronomical level it is already playing at.
We’re already seeing a player terrorizing their opponents, scoring goals and winning some of the biggest prizes on offer, but Mbappe’s career is still in its infancy. This is just the start and it’s terrifying to think of what the future holds for the Frenchman.
Mbappe has already passed Ronaldo’s tally for league titles, and it would take a brave person to bet against him bypassing the rest of the Brazilian’s accolades before his career ends.
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