French teenager Kylian Mbappe Time mag­a­zine’s ‘fu­ture of soc­cer’

Global Times - - Sports -

Paris Saint-Ger­main (PSG) striker Kylian Mbappe’s rapid rise to global fame has earned the teenaged World Cup win­ner an ap­pear­ance on the cover of Time mag­a­zine’s in­ter­na­tional edi­tion, to ap­pear Fri­day.

Time said Mbappe is a global su­per­star who “is the fu­ture of soc­cer.”

Mbappe made head­lines in Septem­ber 2017 when he moved from Ligue 1 side Monaco to PSG for a stag­ger­ing 180 mil­lion eu­ros ($207 mil­lion), a deal that saw the then 18-year-old player handed a re­ported monthly salary of 1.5 mil­lion eu­ros.

But the 19-year-old’s stock sky­rock­eted dur­ing this year’s World Cup, where a se­ries of phe­nom­e­nal dis­plays drew com­pli­ments from Brazil leg­end Pele on his way to help­ing France end their 20-year wait to win an­other World Cup tro­phy.

Mbappe be­came the youngest French goal scorer in World Cup his­tory when he struck in a 1-0 win over Peru in the group stages.

The teenager from the gritty Parisian sub­urb of Bondy then tore apart Ar­gentina, scor­ing twice and earn­ing a penalty as Les Blues elim­i­nated the highly fan­cied South Amer­i­cans 4-3 in the last-16 knock­out round.

In do­ing so, Mbappe be­came only the sec­ond teenager, after Pele in 1958, to score two goals in a World Cup match.

When Mbappe scored with a five-yard (4.6-me­ter) strike in the fi­nal, a 4-2 win over Croa­tia, he be­came only the sec­ond teenager to do so, after Pele again, in 1958.

With a to­tal of four goals in the tour­na­ment, Mbappe re­ceived FIFA’s award for Best Young Player of the World Cup.

Ar­guably bet­ter still were the plau­dits from Pele him­self, who said, “If Kylian keeps on equal­ing my records, I’m go­ing to have to dust off my boots.”

Mbappe’s teenage days will end when he cel­e­brates his 20th birth­day on De­cem­ber 20.

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