Why the ‘unstoppable’ Kylian Mbappe now wears the crown as the best player in the world | CNN
At just 23 years old, Kylian Mbappé has won more in his short career than most players do.
He’s already won five domestic titles in France, scored 250 goals in his career, and four years ago, lifted the World Cup.
Despite already establishing himself as one of the elite, Mbappe has continued to improve season after season and this year’s World Cup arguably feels like the moment he steps out on his own as the best player in the world.
It’s a title that doesn’t come without conflict.
While an aging Cristiano Ronaldo can no longer claim, Mbappe’s PSG teammate Lionel Messi – who has won seven Ballon d’Or awards – produced some impressive performances for Argentina in Qatar. And let’s not forget players like Erling Haaland, who failed to qualify for the tournament with Norway, but promised to challenge Mbappe for honours.
But, with this being the World Cup final for Messi, Rio Mavuba, the former French international and current Bordeaux coach, said that this tournament witnessed the transfer of the baton of greatness to Mbappe.
“In this World Cup, it was the transfer of power from Messi to Mbappe,” he told CNN, before the pair faced off in the World Cup final on Sunday.
“Messi is still one of the greatest players, possibly the best player ever, but at this point Mbappe can eat at the same table as Messi.
“When he’s focused, he’s probably the best player in the world.”
Mafuba made 13 caps for France and was included in Didier Deschamps’ squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He has watched from afar as young Mbappe quickly matured into France’s most important player and says the striker’s pace and finishing make him “unstoppable” at times.
Mbappe was born and raised in Bondy, a suburb of Paris 11 kilometers from the city centre, and apart from a two-year stint in which he played for Monaco, he has lived in the French capital all his life.
His spell at Monaco, where he won his first league title, caught the world’s attention and the teenage sensation moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, initially on loan for the first year.
The deal was reported to be worth $214 million, but Mbappe appears to have taken everything in his path.
Despite all the trophies he has won and the goals he has scored, Mavuba says the striker is now only getting closer to his debut.
“Sure, he has a lot of speed but I think his best skill is that he can do a lot of things. He can run fast, dribble, score and that’s why it’s so hard to catch him.”
While Mbappe’s physical attributes are undeniable, it is his ability to handle such intense pressure that separates him from the crowd, according to former PSG captain Didier Domy.
Dome, who has played more than 100 matches for PSG and now works in the club’s academy in Qatar, says Mbappe carries the nation’s weight on his shoulders, but his value appears to go beyond his mere performance on the pitch and in the political arena. .
French President Emmanuel Macron intervened earlier this year to plead for the young star to stay at Paris Saint-Germain amid a transfer saga involving Spanish giants Real Madrid.
But despite all the pressure that comes on and off the pitch, Mbappe continues to produce the goods.
“His game is unbelievable but the way he lifts the team, that’s what impressed me the most mentally,” Domi told CNN.
“We know his qualities with his feet but mentally he stays in that area, as a captain, always decisive for the team. It’s impressive.
“He has talent, of course, but he also has talent in his head. He controls his temper and that is part of the game.
“It’s unbelievable, he doesn’t feel pressured. He was talented.”
While Mbappe will likely have more than a decade left to play at the top level, Qatar 2022 also marks the end of the biggest rivalry in football history – as it was the last time we saw Ronaldo and Messi play in a World Cup.
But as this chapter winds down, Mbappe has the chance to take center stage.
“he is [Mbappé] He will be the legacy of Messi and Ronaldo, and he may indeed be the best player in the world.”
“He doesn’t have Messi’s vision, but Mbappe at his best is the best player in the world. He can make a difference in every moment.”
Mbappe scored five goals in Qatar – joint top scorer with Messi – bringing his World Cup total to nine from just two tournaments.
Just Fontaine is the only Frenchman to have scored more goals in a World Cup – he scored all thirteen of his efforts in 1958.
More importantly, Mbappe is poised to win his second consecutive World Cup, which would make him the greatest French player in history, according to Mavuba.
“If he wins a second World Cup, he will probably be the best French player,” Mavuba said.
“I like [Zinedine] Zidane but imagine, 23, two World Cups, it would be the best.”
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Zidane was part of the World Cup winning team in 1998 and the midfield maestro won the Ballon d’Or that same year.
Mbappe is still waiting for his first Ballon d’Or, but Mavuba insists achieving glory with the national team matters more than any individual award.
“It’s very difficult to win a World Cup, you see Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar [not win one]But Mbappe has a chance to win the World Cup twice.
“It is better to win two World Cups than five or seven Ballon d’Ors.”
With Argentina being the only obstacle standing in his way, Mbappe has a great chance to claim the title of best player in the world.
In truth, he still has a long way to go before he lives up to the legacy of Ronaldo and Messi, but already, at such a young age, he has done things that these other superstars have failed to do so far.
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