It is hard to think that Kylian Mbappe is just 20 years old. He has already won three league titles, three domestic cups and, of course, there is the small matter of the 2018 World Cup. It is safe to assume that these trophies are going to keep stacking up, and adding a European Championship with France – and a Champions League title with PSG – is a real possibility over the next ten months.
Rise to Stardom
Mbappe exploded onto the scene in the 2016/17 season for Monaco, scoring 26 goals in 44 games as the French side managed to defy the odds and beat PSG to the title. A year later, he would win the league again, this time with PSG. His international career took a little longer to get going with one goal in his first eleven games, as he was slowly blooded into the side.
With Ligue 1 not having the same level of competitiveness as the likes of Serie A, La Liga and the Premier League, the World Cup of 2018 was a prime chance for him to showcase his genius. A goal against Peru in the group stages was a good start, but it was his two goals against Argentina that truly cemented his reputation as one of the most talented players in the world.
Playing in the World Cup at the age of just 19 was an incredible feat in itself, but being a pivotal part of a team winning the tournament – and scoring a goal in the final – is a special achievement that perhaps one man in many thousands may attain.
Does he have to move to Become the Greatest French player ever?
Fairly or otherwise, the French top-flight is not generally recognized as a real pinnacle of European football, given that PSG are apparently the only team with a prayer of winning the top-flight, though there are still some exciting Ligue 1 prices to be had in spread betting. Despite its sovereign nation being world champions, Ligue 1 also currently offers just three Champions League spots, compared to the four that Spain and England get, and 1993 remains the last time a French team (Marseille) won the Champions League.
It is clear that plenty of clubs wanted Mbappe’s signature in the summer, but money was naturally the fatal bar to any real attempts in making it happen. Aside from winning countless trophies in the more competitive leagues of Europe, the Ballon d’Or also seems to be accompanied by the right to call yourself the world’s greatest. Indeed, it seems like no coincidence at all that the last five winners of the Ballon d’Or have won the Champions League, and that is a tournament in which PSG have consistently struggled to perform.
Despite all of the money spent, PSG have failed to progress past the quarter-finals this decade, while suffering elimination in the Round of 16 over the past three seasons. Thus, in order to become the very greatest French player ever, a move to Real Madrid or Barcelona might need to happen.
How much Further can he Rise?
Whether he does it with PSG or not, Mbappe will likely become a Champions League winner sooner or later. His incredible pace, wonderful dribbling ability, precise finishing and his strength will help to win trophies for any teams he plays for.
Whether he needs to leave Ligue 1 is to be regarded as the all-time great is up for debate, and one that will not be settled any time soon – unless, perhaps, he drives PSG to the Champions League by netting double figures in the competition. Winning Euro 2020 just two years after the World Cup, and completing parallels to the France squad of almost two decades ago, would also be a huge boost for those who already assert that Mbappe is the greatest footballing son France has ever produced.
Just how Great is Mbappe in Reality?
Conventionally speaking, his rise to stardom is already complete, as he already had the biggest trophy of them all in the bag. In reality, it is hard to compare Mbappe to the greats until he can show that he can excel in a tougher league. Yet, by the same token, nobody can say with certainty that the likes of Hazard, Neymar, Salah and Sterling are better than him, given that none of those players have ever won a World Cup.
With Ronaldo and Messi now both coming back down to human levels due to their age, the opportunity to call yourself the best player in the world is now there for the taking.
Over to you Kylian.