‘Ron­aldo, Messi still best but won’t win Bal­lon d’Or’

Observer on Saturday - - Sport -

- Teenage sen­sa­tion Kylian Mbappe told AFP on Thurs­day that Cris­tiano Ron­aldo and Li­onel Messi re­main foot­ball’s great­est play­ers but that his own World Cup hero­ics could help crown him as the 2018 Bal­lon d’Or win­ner.

Mbappe, 19, helped France to World Cup vic­tory in Rus­sia as his four goals in­clud­ing one in the 4-2 fi­nal vic­tory over Croa­tia, as he be­came just the se­cond teenager af­ter Pele in 1958 to score in the cham­pi­onship match.

He was also voted Young Player of the tour­na­ment and has since be­come Ligue 1’s lead­ing scorer with 11 goals as Paris Saint-Ger­main run away with the French cham­pi­onship.

Messi and Ron­aldo have won the last 10 Bal­lon d’Or awards and Mbappe be­lieves that they are still the sport’s top A-lis­ters.

“No­body is do­ing bet­ter at the mo­ment and we can’t say it’s the end of their era be­cause it will only end when some­body else does bet­ter than them,” Mbappe told AFP.

How­ever, the young striker added: “I don’t think one of them will win the Bal­lon d’Or this year be­cause it was a World Cup year, and the World Cup takes prece­dence.”

While Mbappe thrived at the World Cup, Messi’s Ar­gentina and Ron­aldo’s Por­tu­gal bowed out in the last 16.

Mbappe was speak­ing at an event or­gan­ised by watch­mak­ers Hublot, one of his lead­ing spon­sors.

PARIS

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