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