Kylian Mbappe set the 2018 World Cup alive with his fancy footwork and sublime skill which saw him become the first teenager since Pele to score in a World Cup Final, but will the 19-year-old Parisian become the greatest footballer ever?
Former England international Michael Owen thinks so. The Daily Mail reports that the former Liverpool star couldn’t praise Mbappe enough ahead of Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League clash with Liverpool at Anfield.
Owen made his name and announced his arrival on the international scene with a dazzling run and absolute scorcher of an individual goal against Argentina during the 1998 World Cup.
Mbappe, of course, went one better by putting two in the back of the net against Argentina earlier this year as France won 4-3 and sent Lionel Messi’s boys home.
Owen told Sky Sports Mbappe reminded him of his own glory days.
“I was sat watching them (France) against Argentina and he ran past everyone and won a penalty. I thought ‘I did that when I was 18.’
“And then he ran past everyone and scored a great goal and I was like ‘oh my word.’ Then of course in the press the next day, was all the comparisons.”
Although Owen never held the World Cup aloft in his career, Mbappe already has at the tender age of 19. So in one sense, the pressure is already off the Paris Saint-Germain star.
Additionally, Owen believes that Mbappe is more than capable of dealing with any pressure which will be heaped on his broad shoulders in years to come.
“That’s the sign of someone that’s going to go to the top I think. The key to being a good player and coming onto the scene, is having an attitude where you feel like you belong. You’re not too arrogant but you’re so comfortable straight away and you can perform.
“I think sometimes a kid comes along and of course, everyone gets carried away and says ‘he is the next thing’ but they’re not. There is one or two that come every 10 years and he is that.
“People develop at different times. This kid has a great mentality on him and he is obviously lightning fast. And if you are lightning fast, you have a huge advantage straight away.
“You only have to have a bit of ability if you have got that pace. He could turn out to be the best player in the world in time.”