Kylian Mbappe’s former teammate Blaise Matuidi has lavished praise on the youngster in a recent interview with French media.
Matuidi was a part of the French World Cup squad in 2018, in which Mbappe excelled and became the second youngest player to ever score in a world cup final after Pele. But, even working in such close proximity to the French prodigy, Matuidi confessed that despite his talent he never expected the PSG man to improve as fast as he has done.
‘I saw him arrive as a kid in the national squad’, the former PSG and Juventus midfielder told Le Parisien.
'He already had such talent and this unique aptitude for work that I imagined he would become one of the best players on the planet. But I never thought he would progress so quickly. What he’s achieved at the age of just 23 is exceptional. And he’s a long way from being finished, since he has an incredible hunger for team trophies and individual awards.'
Matuidi then went on to discuss the French pairing of Mbappe and Karim Benzema, which already plays out on the national scene for Les Blues but could well become a reality at club level too if Mbappe completes his highly anticipated move to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer. Indeed, he compared it to the great duo of Ronaldo and Rivaldo, which terrorised defences for Brazil.
'His partnership with Karim Benzema has few equivalents around the world. With them, France is spoiled. It reminds me of Brazil’s great years with Romario and Bebeto or Ronaldo and Rivaldo.'
France on to retain their World Cup?
Going into the tournament, France will undoubtedly be clear favourites to retain their trophy in Qatar. Despite a poor performance at Euro2020, the French side is brimming with talent and boasts, in Mbappe and Benzema, arguably the best two strikers in world football.
Whether they can live up to the hype remains another matter entirely, but they certainly have the ability to blow the other 31 teams away if they perform to their maximum potential. Mbappe will be a key factor.