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Mbappe’s year to remember

France's forward Kylian Mbappe (1st-L) celebrates after scoring a goal
  • Kylian Mbappe turns 19 today
  • The PSG star has had a meteoric rise
  • France international has set age-related records in 2017

Over the last 12 months, Kylian Mbappe has gone from being a promising young talent to a bona fide star of the game. Building on his meteoric rise with Monaco, he has now established himself in the France side and with his new club Paris Saint-Germain, racking up a number of age-related records in the process. Despite being showered with praise, he shows no signs of straying from his goal of becoming a footballing legend and going down in the history of the game.

To mark his 19th birthday, looks back at what has been an outstanding year for him. 

Mbappe’s records in 2017

10 - in pulling a goal back against Bayern Munich on 5 December, Mbappe became the youngest player ever to reach the ten-goal mark in the UEFA Champions League. It was not his first record of the campaign: in hitting the back of the net against Celtic on 12 September, he became PSG’s youngest ever scorer in the competition. 

10 - the number of appearances Mbappe made for his country this year, the first of them coming in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifier against Luxembourg on 25 March. In those ten appearances he has scored a goal and provided three assists. 

1 - Mbappe is the first player born after France’s World Cup win on home soil in 1998 to play for the national team. He was given the call by none other than Didier Deschamps, the man who had the honour of lifting the World Cup Trophy as Les Bleus captain. 

A name on everyone’s lips *“When I watch him dribble, I can see that he’s thinking. He takes you one way. He feints. He comes back. He uses his head when he plays and that, to me, is the most important thing for a player – he uses his brain. Yes, he’s fast, but he thinks too."
Former France international
Thierry Henry, talking to* Canal Football Club*

“He could be the new Pele. There are no limits to his game. He’s only 18 and he’s only going to get stronger. When you see the difference he makes with his runs into space… He scores goals and he helps others score too – only the greats have that.”
Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger, talking to TF1

“To my mind, Mbappe is the breakthrough star of football.”
Former Argentina star Diego Maradona, talking to AS

“To me it’s like he’s 30 already. He’s so mature and so rounded. It’s a privilege for me to play with him.”
PSG team-mate Neymar

“He needs a bit of freedom and I’m more than happy to give it to him. I don’t want to give him too much praise but he deserves it. What he’s achieved at his age is outstanding.”
France coach Didier Deschamps

Did you know? From idol to team-mate: As a child, Mbappe had posters of Neymar pinned up on his bedroom wall. The teenager’s joy at joining the Brazilian in Paris was reciprocated, however, as he explained in a recent interview with France Football: “He was expecting me. He kept sending me all these messages at the end of the transfer window: ‘When are you getting here?’ I replied: ‘Wait. I’m coming.’ It dragged on a bit, though, and he must have said to himself: ‘He lied to me. He’s not coming.’ From the moment I arrived, he’s done everything he can to help me settle. He looks for me a lot on the pitch.”

He’s my brother: Former Rennes forward Jires Kembo-Ekoko is Mbappe’s adopted brother. The PSG man’s father is a football coach and became Kembo’s legal guardian when he played in Bondy, Mbappe’s home town. 

A family celebration: When he scores a goal, Mbappe does not point up to the sky, perform a somersault, or make a heart shape with his hands. He just stands with arms crossed, a defiant celebration he borrowed from his little brother after a FIFA match on PlayStation.

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