Kylian Mbappe won the Young Player of the Tournament Award at the World Cup. (File)
France teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe on Thursday insisted that a member of the France World Cup winning team should be declared as the winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or trophy this year, despite Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi still being the best players in the world. Speaking to news agency AFP at an event, Mbappe said that no one is doing better than Messi and Ronaldo at the moment, but World Cup will take precedence over their individual performances.
“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. 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,” Mbappe was quoted as saying by the news agency.
“But if you take the player in the purest form, there’s nobody better yet. This year they were again the best two. Messi finished the best goalscorer in Europe; Ronaldo was the top scorer in the Champions League,” he said.
The 19-year-old was one of the best players of the tournament, scoring 4 goals and winning the Young Player of the Award trophy. On being asked if he has a chance of winning the coveted trophy, the PSG forward said, “Frankly, I hope so (win the Ballon d’Or). We achieved something big. It would not be unjust because that is a strong word, but it would be a shame if a Frenchman does not win it,” he said. “We made history and it would be nice to be rewarded,” Mbappe added.
But the France international insisted that he wants to win all the World Cup titles throughout his career. “I play to win; if I play four World Cups then I want to win four. We go step by step. I have already won one. You have to prepare and win with your club and with the national team also. There are short-term goals before thinking about the 2022 World Cup. But the aim always is to win,” he said.
On being questioned whether he is the next big star to replace Ronaldo and Messi, Mbappe said, “I cannot control everything that is done and said. “There is not just the pitch but everything around it must also be managed. It’s not easy but I’m learning, I’m still learning. I have people around me who help me overcome the challenges one after the other,” he said.