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Meteoric Mbappé ahead of Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar...

The forward reached 300 goals as a professional after the hat-trick he scored against Gibraltar, and he’s still not yet 25 years old.

París (Francia)Update:
Meteoric Mbappé ahead of Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar...

On Saturday, facing Gibraltar, Kylian Mbappé achieved a milestone, reaching 300 goals as a professional. At just 24 years old, the French national team captain has undergone a remarkable ascent in the football world, becoming the all-time leading scorer for his club, Paris Saint-Germain. He holds the third position among the top scorers for Les Bleus, with 46 goals, trailing just Olivier Giroud and Thierry Henry. Mbappé has also been at the center of the transfer market headlines for the past five years, with strong interest from Real Madrid contrasting with PSG’s persistent efforts to renew his contract, with astronomical financial rewards.

Mbappé with world at his feet

At 24 years and 333 days, Mbappé achieved a feat unmatched in football history, even surpassing Pelé. He reached the 300-goal mark after a hat-trick against Gibraltar in a match that ended 14-0 in favor of the French team. For comparison, at the same age, Lionel Messi had accumulated 274 goals, Neymar, the second in the rankings, had scored 277 goals, and Cristiano, before establishing himself as the world’s top scorer, had 158 goals.

France's forward Kylian Mbappé takes part in a training session at the Agia Sophia Stadium in Athens.
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France's forward Kylian Mbappé takes part in a training session at the Agia Sophia Stadium in Athens.ANGELOS TZORTZINISAFP

In an interview with Telefoot, Mbappé acknowledged, “Everyone changes their game. I played with Leo Messi, who changed his way of playing to continue being a difference maker.”

Mbappé's style has evolved over time, starting on the right wing, adapting to the winger position due to Neymar and Cavani’s dominance. As he gained prominence in Paris, he alternated between the left wing and centre forward positions. This season, he plays more freely between the lines with a central striker to create space.

Mbappé's numbers compared

Comparing his numbers to other French football legends, Mbappé's achievement is indisputable. His 300 goals as a professional before hitting a quarter of a century on the planet blows the likes of Michel Platini out of the water. He had to wait until he was 29. Even the current all-time top scorer, Giroud, needed 35 years and 388 days to enter this elite group.

Mbappé has transformed his game into a prolific finisher, significantly improving his goals-per-game ratio. In the 2021/22 season (48 goals), he achieved a ratio of 0.89. In the next season (2022/23), it rose to 0.96. In the current campaign, with 21 goals, his ratio has further increased to 1.11 goals per game, showcasing his increasing impact each year.

Goal machine | Mbappé celebrates scoring with France teammates.
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Goal machine | Mbappé celebrates scoring with France teammates.SEBASTIEN NOGIEREFE

Acknowledging that football evolves, and players must too, Mbappé also stated that, “football dictates its time. If you don’t change, football advances, and you fall into oblivion.”

His potential next transformation, perhaps incorporating more use of headers, could be the key to further elevating his game. While the future of the talented player from Bondy remains uncertain, discussions about his next career steps will undoubtedly continue in the coming months. Despite his immense potential, Mbappé has yet to secure a Champions League title, for many the crowning glory of those that will truly be remembered as club greats.