Kylian Mbappe responds to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi comparisons
The Paris Saint-Germain striker is establishing himself as one of football's greatest players but believes comparisons to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are premature
Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe has addressed comparisons between his own achievements and those of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The French striker admitted that those two superstars - who have shared a remarkable 11 Ballon d’Or titles between them - have ‘broken all the laws of statistics’.
The 22-year-old has established himself as one of football’s elite players but believes that comparisons to Messi and Ronaldo demonstrates ‘a lack of awareness’.
Having become the world’s second most expensive transfer aged 18 and starring in France’s World Cup success the following year, Mbappe has always appeared to be destined to join football’s greats.
Mbappe explained in a wide-ranging interview with Esquire that he knows that the level reach by Messi and Ronaldo is ‘incomparable’ compared to anyone else in the sport.
"I'm not the only one who knows," Mbappe explained. "Everybody knows.
"If you tell yourself that you will do better than them, it goes beyond ego or determination: it is lack of awareness. Those players are incomparable. They have broken all the laws of statistics.
"They have had ten, fifteen extraordinary years."
Mbappe did however admit that he - like any other player - he uses Messi and Ronaldo as a benchmark for the standards that are expected and for how he can push on his own game.
He added: “You always compare yourself to the best in your sport, just as the baker compares himself to the best bakers around him. Who makes the best croissant, the best pain au chocolat?
“I watch the games of other great players to see what they do. I know how to do this, but can the others do it too?
“I think other players are watching me too. I think that pushes footballers to elevate their game.”
The Frenchman then went on to speak about Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland - amid suggestions that the Norwegian and Mbappe will be their generation’s version of Messi and Ronaldo.
Mbappe said of the striker: “It is his second year, we are getting to know him. It is the beginning for him.
“I'm happy for him and for what he's doing.”
PSG endured a frustrating season last time out but did impress in the knockout stages of the Champions League, before being eliminated by Manchester City at the semi-final stage.
They secured a landmark 4-1 win at the Camp Nou against Barcelona at the Round of 16 stage, when Mbappe netted a stunning hat-trick.
“It was the best game of my career,” says Mbappe.
“It was a complete performance. I helped my team both in attack and defence, and I was right in the creation and completion of my plays, in the one-on-one situations.
“I won 90 percent of my duels, if the stat is correct. In the whole game, I did not have a moment in which I felt off.”
He also believes that defences now target him and devise plans to stop him: "There are quite a few anti-Kylian plans every match.
“It means that they have recognised me as a great player. It requires you to have several strings in the bow. And I like that, because I adore challenges.”