French sensation Kylian Mbappe has revealed that he cannot compare himself to greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, insisting it would show a ‘lack of awareness’ from him if he did due to their longevity at the top of the game.
PSG forward Mbappe – alongside Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland – have been tipped to dominate world football for years to come and eventually take the mantle off Messi and Ronaldo, but in the latest issue of Esquire UK, the Frenchman has been keen to play that talk down.
At the tender age of 22, Mbappe has already won the World Cup with France in 2018, four Ligue 1 titles, three French Cups and two French League Cups – as well as finishing runner-up in the Champions League with PSG in 2020.
Paris Saint-Germain and France forward Kylian Mbappe stars on the front cover of Esquire UK
Mbappe is set to dominate football for years thanks to his pace and goalscoring heroics
But he isn’t getting carried away, and when asked if he compares himself to Messi or Ronaldo, Mbappe told Esquire UK: ‘If you tell yourself that you’ll do better than them, it’s beyond ego or determination — it’s lack of awareness.
‘Those players are incomparable. They have broken all laws of statistics. They have had 10/15 extraordinary years.
‘You do always compare yourself with the best in your sport, just as the baker compares himself with the best bakers around him. Who makes the best croissant, the best pain au chocolat?
‘I watch matches of other great players to see what they’re doing. “I know how to do this, but can the other guy do it too?” I think other players watch me, too.
Mbappe insists football greats Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are ‘incomparable’
The Frenchman insists Ronaldo and Messi have ‘broken all laws of statistics’ in the game
‘I think that pushes players to raise their game, just as Messi was good for Ronaldo and Ronaldo was good for Messi.’
Due to Haaland’s incredible goalscoring record in Germany with Dortmund, the Norwegian youngster has earned comparisons to Mbappe – with the duo two of the most sought-after players in football right now.
Mbappe has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool in the past, while a whole host of Europe’s top clubs, including Barcelona, Madrid, Man City, United and Chelsea, are in the hunt for Haaland.
And Mbappe insists he is ‘happy’ to see his young rival making a name for himself and is excited for what’s in store.
Mbappe and Erling Haaland have been tipped to take the mantle off Messi and Ronaldo
‘It’s his second year, we’re getting to know him,’ Mbappe added. ‘It’s the start for him. I’m happy for him, for what he’s doing.’
Another player tipped to take over from Messi and Ronaldo, who have an incredible 11 Ballon d’Or’s between them, is Mbappe’s PSG team-mate Neymar.
The Brazilian joined PSG in a world-record £198million move in the summer of 2017, but struggled to settle in during his early days in Paris.
In the past, Neymar had continuously been linked with a sensational return to Barcelona but he has since put his troubles behind him and is now playing his best football again, which resulted in him signing a new three-year deal at PSG last month – worth a reported £26m-per-season.
Mbappe claims Neymar has put his head down and is letting his football do the talking at PSG
And Mbappe has reflected on his team-mates tough start to life in Paris, claiming Neymar has now adapted to the French way of living and has put his festivities behind him, including his love for poker, to let his football do the talking.
Mbappe added: ‘In Brazil, they are more festive, in France more serious. Here it’s not considered good to display your passions.
‘People will think he’s neglecting PSG because he plays poker. I think he has begun to understand that. At first it was hard for him because he experienced it as an affront.
‘When he arrived, they put his face on the Eiffel Tower, and six months later they’re asking him why he’s playing poker. In France, people know what you have but they don’t want to see it. They just want to see you playing football, smiling.’
The July/August issue of Esquire UK is on sale from 3rd June
The 22-year-old opened up on everything football related in his interview with Esquire