Mbappé: "I have to take inspiration from Cristiano's career"
The PSG forward told La Gazzetta dello Sport that it is now too late for him to emulate Barcelona's Leo Messi and spend his entire career at the same club.
Paris-Saint Germain forward Kylian Mbappé says that every French player of his generation grew up idolising Zinedine Zidane and feels that he has to draw on Cristiano Ronaldo's career as inspiration for his own.
"If you're French, obviously you would have grown up with Zidane as your idol. After that, it was Cristiano Ronaldo, who I have been fortunate enough to have faced as a rival, at club level and with the national team", Mbappé explained in an interview for La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Mbappé: "I've always loved Brazilian footballers"
"I also love Brazilian players like Pelé, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo Nazário and Ricardo Kaká. And to the young players who look up to me, I'd like to send them a message from someone who believed in their dream, always giving the best they had to give, trying to push their own limits to be able to make a mark in sport", the 21-year-old added.
Mbappé thinks he should base his own career on Cristiano Ronaldo's because it's now too late for him to be a one-club player.
"It's too late for me to carve out a career like Messi's, I would have had to stay at Monaco. Without taking anything away from Messi, now I have to draw on Cristiano's career for inspiration", said Mbappé, who has a deep admiration for CR7, and thinks he is the right man to help Juventus win this season's Champions League.
"Cristiano makes all the difference" - Mbappé
"Juventus are a strong side - they've shown that in the finals they've played during the past few seasons. They have always lacked something to give them the edge and now that have that in Cristiano. He's a player who makes you win major trophies. This year Juventus are among the favourites - along with the usual suspects - Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool".
Mbappé has forged a formidable partnership with strike partners Neymar and Icardi - between them, they have scored a combined 51 goals this season (Mbappé: 21, Neymar: 13 and Icardi: 17). "Neymar is a brilliant player, I also have a good relationship with him off the pitch. He's had two very difficult seasons but now he is getting back to his best level. That's goods new for PSG fans and everyone else who loves football", the France international said, before describing what Icardi brings to the team.
"Mauro is one of the best strikers in the world but he is also a humble player who puts helping the team first. The only thing he thinks about when he is inside the penalty area is scoring. He's already scored a lot of goals this season, and shown how important he is for PSG. We have a great affinity with Icardi, our styles of play complement each other. It's important that we continue that way", Mbappé continued.
Mbappé blown away by Verratti
But the biggest surprise of all as far as Mbappé is concerned was midfielder Marco Verratti. "Verratti is amazing, that's evident. He's the player who has impressed me the most during my time at PSG. He's very good and I'm incredibly lucky to be in the same side as him. I'm proud to be able to play alongside him".
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