Since bursting onto the scene in 2017, Kylian Mbappé has become a true superstar of world football.
In the years in-between, he’s won the World Cup, become the envy of every fan across Europe, and just recently knocked Lionel Messi’s Barcelona out of the Champions League.
But is Mbappé the man to take the crown of best in the world from Messi? Just how great could Mbappé be? In this article, we’ll look at what the future may hold for the Frenchman who already has the world at his feet.
Mbappé, so far
Mbappé currently has the following achievements to his name:
- 1x World Cup
- 4x French Ligue 1 Champion
- 2x French Cup Winner
- 2x French League Cup Winner
- 3x French Supercup Winner
In his time with PSG and Monaco (along with the French national side), the young forward has already racked up an impressive collection of trophies. While that does come with the asterisk of playing in what is perceived as a lesser league, it’s hard to deny how explosive he’s been in both domestic and European games.
After all, it was in the Champions League that Mbappé made his name, with the World Cup in Russia marking the confirmation of what many of us already suspected, that this kid is the real deal.
What could he achieve?
In the long run, anything!
If he stays in Paris it’s easy to see a long list of domestic titles in Mbappé’s future as PSG continues to steamroll the French league with little interruption, along with the surely inevitable European success the club has been craving for so long.
Oddsmakers Mr Green Betting (not familiar? Check out this comprehensive review) currently has the following odds on this season’s Champions League winner.
- Manchester City – 5/2
- Bayern München – 3/1
- Paris SG – 11/2
- Liverpool – 6/1
- Chelsea – 11/1
While Mbappé himself also performs strongly on the list of likely candidates to end the competition as its top scorer, especially after an impressive four-goal performance across two legs against Barcelona.
- Erling Braut Haaland – 2/5
- Robert Lewandowski – 7/1
- Kylian Mbappé – 7/1
- Neymar – 11/1
- Mohamed Salah – 15/1
Both Mbappé and his club have a strong chance of success this season, even if their usual precession to the French title isn’t going as planned.
It feels like the worst kept secret in football that Mbappé won’t stay in the French capital forever. If he’s to reach the heights of the very best, he needs to challenge himself in leagues much more competitive than the French first division.
Here are some possible destinations for the French forward.
The Spanish giants have been home to superstars of football for years. From Alfredo Di Stéfanoto the Galacticos to Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, Real Madrid has always been able to attract players with the stardust of Mbappé.
However, in recent years, Madrid has adopted a more economically conservative policy, opting to buy young players from South America rather than splash out on the biggest names in European football.
This is partly due to their own financial difficulties, but also an inability to compete with the wages offered by top Premier League sides.
All that being said, it’s easy to see Mbappé lining up in a white shirt at the Beurabeau in the near future, isn’t it? Especially under fellow Frenchman manager Zinedine Zidane, it just makes sense that a superstar in the making like Mbappé would spend his prime years playing in Spain. It’s not as if the smoke of this story is without fire.
They might be struggling through their Premier League title defence but Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool still presents a wonderful opportunity for any player to make their mark on both English and European football.
Liverpool has a quality squad in need of some refreshing, after a relentless few years that has brought immense success to Anfield. Mbappé would present an incredible option for the Red, slotting anywhere in their front three and possessing the pace and power to get by in the more physical Premier League.
Since Paul Pogba’s move to Manchester United, there has been a shift in the balance of power, with more and more top players making their home in England. While it might seem unthinkable that Mbappé could move to Merseyside, the pull of a fantastic manager and project is perhaps the greatest for ambitious young footballers.
While it’s harder than ever for premium talents with even more premium price tags to find a new home in today’s football market, there are some other options for the French forward.
- Manchester United
- Manchester City
Surely, outside of these options, there aren’t many places Mbappé could turn. Even considering those possible destinations, it’s difficult to see Barcelona being able to afford the Frenchman considering their significant and well-noted financial struggles. Likewise, Juventus are unlikely to be able to sign Mbappé without first offloading the wages of one Cristiano Ronaldo.
While Manchester has become one of the epicentres of football in the last decade as the two main clubs go to war, it’s difficult to see Mbappé turning up at United. Does manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have the clout to bring in another genuine superstar, especially if international teammate Paul Pogba is one his way out? Surely the lure of a manager such as Pep Guardiola would be much stronger to a player with ambitions to be the best in the world, especially as City needing to refresh their front line.
Matching up to the greatest
To be considered the greatest in modern-day terms there are two players Mbappé needs to prove himself against. Lionel Messi and Christiano Ronaldo.
While the Frenchman has the World Cup both of these icons of the game will likely never win, he doesn’t have anywhere near the personal accolades they’ve both accumulated over their unrivalled careers.
However, Mbappé’s personal stats significantly outrank both Messi and Ronaldo’s at 21. However, Mbappé has been playing his early football in France, while Messi and Ronaldo tested themselves in Spain and England respectively.
There’s no denying that, barring significant injury, Kylian Mbappé will go on to have an illustrious career wherever he ends up. However, his next move (or lack of move) could come to define his greatness. We love to discuss the individuals of the game and their place in history, but football is a team sport where the players around you have just as much of an impact on your ability to be marked as the greatest of all time.