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5 times Kylian Mbappe has proved he is Cristiano Ronaldo's successor

PSG star Kylian Mbappe
PSG star Kylian Mbappe
Joshua Ojele
ANALYST
Modified 18 Feb 2021
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Kylian Mbappe was the star of the show in Paris Saint-Germain's Round of 16 first-leg win against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. The Frenchman scored a brilliant hat-trick to give his side a significant three-goal advantage going into the second leg at home.

In a jaw-dropping performance, the 22-year-old reminded the football world that he is one of the best players in the game and a potential heir to Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mbappe scored his first of the night in the first half, twisting and turning in the box before lashing home to restore parity for PSG. The second came just after the hour mark when he reacted quickest to a half-clearance from Gerard Pique.

The PSG ace completed his hat-trick via another counter when substitute Julian Draxler carried the ball from his own half and set up the Frenchman. Kylian Mbappe did the honours, curling a sumptuous shot into the far corner to complete a fabulous hat-trick.

With several such Man-of-the-Match displays across his career, Kylian Mbappe has drawn comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo, who is widely regarded as one of the finest players the game has ever seen.

Mbappe has stated in a previous interview that he has drawn inspiration from the five-time Ballon D'Or winner, and even had pictures of the Portuguese on his bedroom walls while growing up.

This comes as no surprise, as the Frenchman has mirrored Cristiano Ronaldo countless times with outstanding showings on the pitch. The two men possess similar playing styles; they both like to come in from the left with intelligent footwork before finishing chances centrally.

Kylian Mbappe has even gone as far as recreating goal celebrations, which Ronaldo used at various stages of his highly illustrious career. The two players also possess an inherent hunger to be better versions of themselves and achieve everything possible there is to achieve in the game.

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Ronaldo is now aged 36, and although he is showing no signs of slowing down, it won't be long before the Juventus man calls time on his career.

He has, however, impacted many younger players over the years, particularly Kylian Mbappe, who appears destined to be the heir to the Portuguese's throne.

On that note, we look at five times Kylian Mbappe has proven to be Cristiano Ronaldo's successor.

#5 Early Days

Juventus vs AS Monaco - UEFA Champions League Semi-Final: Second Leg
Juventus vs AS Monaco - UEFA Champions League Semi-Final: Second Leg

AS Monaco are renowned for nurturing some of the world's best talents, and Kylian Mbappe fits perfectly into that list. The Frenchman graduated from the Monaco academy with high hopes, outperforming everyone in his age group.

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The teenager was mainly a squad player in his first spell with the first team but soon established himself as a starter in the side the following season.

Kylian Mbappe contributed an outstanding 15 goals and eight assists in just 17 league starts and 26 goals in all competitions for The Red and Whites.

He made it to the Champions League semifinals with Monaco that season and won his first Ligue 1 title.

His string of eye-catching performances secured him a move to French giants PSG, with the youngster signing for the French capital side in a €180m deal, making him the second-most expensive transfer in football history.

Similarly, Ronaldo had arrived at Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon as a precocious teenager, and hasn't looked back since.


#4 Kylian Mbappe's big-game performances

Club Brugge KV vs PSG: Group A - UEFA Champions League
Club Brugge KV vs PSG: Group A - UEFA Champions League

An important trait of Cristiano Ronaldo is his ability to step up on the big stage against the best teams; Kylian Mbappe has that trait in abundance too.

Mbappe's jaw-dropping display against Barcelona at the Camp Nou is just one of many mesmerising showings the Frenchman has produced in his career.

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Kylian Mbappe has now scored at least one Champions League goal at the Etihad, Anfield, Old Trafford, Camp Nou, Allianz Arena, Allianz Stadium, Signal Iduna Park and Santiago Bernabeu.

This achievement shows that the young man has the mental and physical ability to compete with the best in the world and come out on top, just like Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Published 18 Feb 2021, 00:35 IST
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