including three in the 6-3 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund in the last eight.
The pacy forward provides a symbol for the rise of a fine counter-attacking team featuring other dangerous players such as Colombian marksman Radamel Falcao.
It takes more than that, however, to impress Juventus, the tightest defence in Europe’s top club competition with just two goals conceded in this campaign.
“Even Barcelona could not score in two games against them so it will be complicated for us“, Monaco’s Poland defender Kamil Glik said ahead of today’s first leg in the principality. reach 15 league goals in Europe’s top five leagues since former Golden Ball winner Michael Owen for Liverpool in 1998; the youngest to have reached five goals in the Champions League, and the first player to score in each of the first four Champions League knockout rounds he played in.
Mbappe has netted 24 goals this season, including 18 in his last 18 — and he was playing in the reserves until November. His powerful running, skill, sheer
The Italian champions, who advanced to the last four with an aggregate 3-0 win over Barca, were held to a 2-2 draw at Atalanta in a rare defensive mix-up in Serie A on Friday.
Their pedigree and record for being impregnable when it matters, however, suggest Juventus should be regarded as the favourites.
“Monaco have technical and tactical qualities as well as talented young players,” Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said.
“They do not have the same history as Juventus but that does not mean it will be easy for us to make it to the final,” he added.
While Allegri can rely on a fullyfit squad, his Monaco counterpart pace, and cool finishing make him a mix between Thierry Henry and Brazil great Ronaldo.
In fact, he is so popular in France that even opposing fans from Lyon and Caen applauded him off the field when he played there.
Only a few clubs can realistically afford him: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus.
It puts Monaco in a precarious position, and one they have been Leonardo Jardim, criticised for fielding a B-team in a 5-0 French Cup semi-final thrashing by Paris St Germain last week, has a defensive worry with midfield dynamo Tiemoue Bakayoko doubtful due to a broken nose.
Monaco have shone in Europe and at home this season and their domestic title hopes received a welcome boost when a nervous PSG side lost 3-1 at Nice on Sunday, leaving the club from the French Riviera three points clear at the top with a game in hand.
Juventus, meanwhile, are closing in on a record sixth straight Serie A title and can turn to their European history for inspiration, having won the showcase club in before for different reasons.
In the summer of 2015, because of former Financial Fair Play rules designed to control club finances, Monaco needed to raise money and sold the heart of their team.
Forward Anthony Martial joined Manchester United in a deal rising to €80 million, while midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia, winger Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, centre-half Aymen Abdenour and left-back Layvin Kurzawa were all sold — raising about competition twice, in 1985 and 1996.
Monaco, by contrast, reached the Champions League final only once, in 2004, losing 3-0 to a Porto side coached by Jose Mourinho after a great run featuring wins over Real Madrid and Chelsea.
The sides have faced each other twice before on the Champions League stage with Juventus winning both ties, in the 1998 semifinals and the 2015 quarters.
Juventus have never been eliminated by a French team in 11 previous meetings in European club competitions. Reuters €200 million altogether. This followed the sale of Colombia’s star forward James Rodriguez to Real Madrid for around €80 million the previous summer.
Monaco’s finances are far better now and the club will likely not sell more than one or two players this summer.
This increases the chances of Mbappe staying as the main striker next season, should Radmael Falcao leave after turning down three offers from Chinese clubs in January. AP
Juventus boast the best defence in the Champions League this season having conceded just two goals.