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What should Kylian Mbappe do to reach Hall of Fame?

  • Will a move to one of three most prestigious European leagues would propel Mbappe to football's Hall of Fame?
  • Here is what the French starlet should do to become one of the greatest ever who touched a football.
Marko Vrakela
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
Modified 20 Mar 2020, 23:38 IST

Kylian Mobappe.

Kylian Mobappe.

Kylian Mbappe has been nothing short of astonishing since making his breakthrough at Monaco as a 17-year-old teenager in 2015/16. While enjoying his rise to stardom in the French principality, Mbappe became one of the hottest young prospects in Europe. 

Although the 21-year-old established himself as a star at the Stade Louis II, he really rose to global prominence at Paris Saint-Germain. The numbers Mbappe has reached in the spring of his career are ridiculous and beyond compare. In 120 competitive appearances for the reigning Ligue 1 holders, he has notched up 90 goals and 49 assists. 

At the age of 20, Mbappe already bettered the scoring ratio of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. He alone had 94 goals scored for club and country, while the legendary duo managed 85 between themselves. But, he has refused to stop there, moving on to shatter numerous records while making a name for himself.

  1. The youngest player to reach 15 Champions League goals
  2. The first substitute to score Champions League hat-trick since 2008
  3. The first teenager after the Brazilian legend Pele to score in the FIFA World Cup final
  4. The most expensive teenager ever and the second-most expensive player in history (€180million)
  5. Ligue 1 top goalscorer in 2018/19 at the age of 20

These are just some of the records Mbappe already has under his belt with his entire career ahead of him. Insanely fast, technically gifted, and lethal in front of goal, the French sensation possesses everything it takes to become one of the greatest players ever.

But, to get the recognition and respect he demands and probably already deserves, Mbappe has to overcome a few setbacks. 

Time to move on

Quicksilver Mbappe conquered Ligue 1 three times so far and has been on the brink of landing his fourth league title before the coronavirus stood in his way. No matter how this club season ends, the highly-rated forward has proven his talent, qualities, and superiority in France's top-flight, establishing a dominance very few teenagers managed before him.

Mbappe has given everything to Ligue 1, but now it's time for him to move on. His numbers are so intimidating that no one can predict what the French starlet can do when he gets to his pinnacle. However, no matter how frightening his figures are or will be in France, it will not be enough for him to be regarded as one of the best ever.

FIFA World Cup Winner
FIFA World Cup Winner
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Ligue 1 lacks the charm and recognition some other Europe's top leagues provide, which could ultimately prove vital to Mbappe's efforts at standing on the same pedestal as Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi. Everything he has done at Monaco and PSG could, however, serve as a springboard to a big-money move to European royalty. 

Once he decides to move abroad, the Parisians will be powerless to stop it, even though they are ready to fight tooth and nail to keep hold of their jewel. Several European top clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Liverpool, and Manchester United have all had Mbappe on their radars for quite a while, and they will be ready to make their moves as soon as the opportunity presents.

Paris Saint-Germain can't control Mbappe and Neymar

Mbappe and Neymar represent arguably the most entertaining and prolific attacking partnership in Europe. Only this season, the all-star pair have participated in 75 goals between themselves! While the Frenchman recorded 30 goals and 17 assists in all competitions, his companion has added 18 goals and ten assists to his name. 

The two enjoy every second they spend on the pitch, with all the tricks and flicks, they sometimes forget the only thing that makes the difference in football is goals. Mentored by Neymar, Mbappe has drastically developed his skillset to the point where he started mirroring the Brazilian dynamo, which unfortunately for him started to annoy the fans.

Neymar and Mbappe enjoying themselves
Neymar and Mbappe enjoying themselves

The frustration boiled over ahead of the Parisians Ligue 1 clash against Bordeaux when the PSG supporters unveiled a banner, blaming the duo for a 2-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie.

Still, the World Cup winner and his Brazilian colleague are the pillars of Paris's success, which has made them almost untouchable in the French capital. Their behavior both on and off the field has sometimes seen them perceived as rebellious. At one point this season, they had even tried to undermine the PSG boss Thomas Tuchel, whose authority at the Parc des Princes is still under a cloud. 

Ligue 1 curse 

Ever since Stanley Matthews won the first Ballon d'Or in 1956, no player from French's top-tier has ever managed to claim the prize until today. In the 21st century, only players featuring in La Liga (16), Premier League (2), and Serie A (2) won the award, and with all due respect, Ligue 1 is currently miles away from reaching that standard.

Desperate to create his own legacy, Mbappe has to climb to the top of Europe to be able to enter the house of greats. And, Champions League glory has often proved as the safest path that leads to the Ballon d'Or.

Ultimate individual prize in football
Ultimate individual prize in football

Although Ligue 1 has emerged as a fertile ground for the young prospects over the past few seasons, there's a long way before it can match the three most prestigious European leagues. Despite all the financial efforts Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon have made during the past two decades, no French club has won the European competition since the turn of the new millennium. 

Yet, PSG squeezed past Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League last-16 after a second-leg comeback, while Les Gones clinched a 1-0 win over Juventus going into the second leg that will take place in Turin once the coronavirus crisis ends. Therefore, both French heavyweights remain in contention for the coveted title that continually eluded them throughout their respective histories.

Given that the majority of other Champions League contenders failed to live up to their high standards throughout the ongoing campaign, the Parisians may as well have a perfect chance to break the Ligue 1 curse - if the season is not rendered null and void of course. This could, in turn, propel Mbappe to the next level of greatness.

Published 20 Mar 2020, 23:38 IST
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