Mbappe's rapid rise to the top
The Best FIFA Football Awards™
- Mbappe a FIFA World Cup™ winner at the age of only 19
- The French star has beaten or threatened a host of age-related records
- A serious contender for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award
It is hard to believe that Kylian Mbappe has become a genuine contender for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award at the age of only 19. A newly crowned FIFA World Cup™ winner, the French striker is making speedy progress towards the very pinnacle of the game and is already keeping company with football’s greatest names.
Ahead of the announcement of the finalists for The Best FIFA Football Awards on 3 September, FIFA.com analyses the Mbappe phenomenon with the assistance of some statistics and quotes.
A Bleu in a rush
David Trezeguet and Thierry Henry cemented their status as prodigious talents in helping France win the World Cup on home soil in 1998, when they were only 20. Two decades on, Mbappe became the youngest Bleu ever to play in a world finals and went on to collect the FIFA Young Player Award, having enjoyed more playing time at Russia 2018 than the two of them put together at France 1998, and scored four goals, as many as Henry and Trezeguet managed (three and one respectively).
19 – In scoring the only goal of his side’s group game against Peru at Russia 2018 at the age of 19 years and 183 days, Mbappe outdid Trezeguet, who scored against Saudi Arabia at France 1998 aged 20 years and 246 days.
“Winning a World Cup so young opens doors, but I must keep going on. I’m just at the beginning of the road. I have a whole story to write.”
Quicker than Messi
Les Bleus overcame Argentina 4-3 in the first knockout match of their Russian campaign, producing a sparkling attacking display in which Mbappe stood out, forcing a penalty and scoring a brace. In the process, he won the battle of the No10s with Lionel Messi, who once again departed the World Cup stage empty-handed. In stark contrast, Mbappe has a winner’s medal to his name already, despite having only just begun his international career and collected a mere 22 caps.
37 – In the opening quarter of an hour of the last-16 tie with Argentina, the kid from the Parisian suburb of Bondy was clocked at a speed of 37kmh with the ball at his feet. His searing pace tore the opposing defence in half and forced Marcos Rojo to bring him down in the box and give away a penalty converted by Antoine Griezmann.
“From the start, he went to attack the Argentinians. He was dangerous all the time and made the decision when he had too. We shouldn’t forget that he’s only 19 years old! We don’t realise what it means at this level. We have to step back to understand.”
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, speaking on beIN Sports
Anointed by O Rei
In making the breakthrough at Monaco with his lightning speed and classy finishing, Mbappe earned many comparisons with Henry, who also came to prominence with the club from the principality. With his exploits in Russia, however, the young striker put himself right up there with O Rei, Pele.
2 – In rounding off the scoring against Croatia, the Paris Saint-Germain forward became the second-youngest goalscorer ever in a World Cup Final, behind Pele, who was 17 years and eight months old when he found the back of the net in the showpiece match at Sweden 1958. Against Argentina, Mbappe also became the second-youngest scorer of a double at the world finals, again behind that man Pele, who helped himself to a brace in that Sweden 1958 Final.