Mbappé is becoming Neymar

The downfall of France, who had been the favourites in the eyes of both the professional observer and the betting houses, has one culprit for French fans: Kylian Mbappé. It fell to him to take, and miss, the decisive penalty, which resulted in him being the direct and ultimate cause of the disaster. But it is not only that failure that sticks. What he leaves behind is a poor tournament, a mediocre performance, a long way off that seen by Benzema, to give one example, and even further from the expectations that have accompanied him for such a long time. We expected him to emerge from these Euros as a champion, perhaps also the top scorer, providing him with a platform to launch a tilt at the Ballon d'Or.

Mbappé progress slowing down at PSG

Here is a player who has had a brilliant start to his career and who from time to time has provided us with great performances, but he has not yet evolved into what he had suggested four years ago. A French friend of mine tells me that over there they are saying that Mbappé ‘Neymarising’. We know happened with the Brazilian, his predecessor in the role of succeeding Messi and Cristiano at that summit of world football, a place they have shared for a decade. Neymar is capable of magic, but he has the vices of a prima donna, and lacks consistency. Alongside him in the PSG 'star system', Mbappé’s progression has slowed. Time ticks on and he is not improving.

PSG and Brazil's Neymar during Conmebol's Copa America 2021.

Mbappé still has time to react

And this reminds me of how Cristiano influenced Benzema: "At Madrid, it's not enough to do what they expect you to do; you have to do more,” the Portugal star said to him. That's a reason why he has became what he is today. Mbappé could have done with a move to Madrid at the time, but instead he went to PSG to join Neymar, who himself arrived after leaving Barça, seeking an easier league and to escape Messi's shadow. Mbappé is still only 22 years old, and still has time to react. But the years are flying by. Neymar is already 29 and we are still waiting for him to really break through as number one. Let's see if the same doesn't happen with Mbappé.