French striker Kylian Mbappe is perhaps the most exciting young talent in the football world today. The youngster has been so good that he’s garnered comparisons to countryman Thierry Henry (courtesy of Henry’s manager at Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, another Frenchman) as well as Brazilian legends Pele and Ronaldo. His blend of mind-boggling athleticism and precociousness at such a young age make him a unique player in the footballing landscape, and a one to watch in the upcoming Euro 2020 tournament.
Mbappe’s ability with both feet, his football IQ, and his superior vision allow him to find success playing on either wing whether he’s setting up teammates or taking on defenders with his sublime dribbling ability, which can really make opposing defenders look a fool. The Paris native’s timing on his runs is also impeccable, and his world-class speed and clinical finishing make his well-timed scampers into open areas even more deadly when he’s playing at the top as a striker.
At the ripe age of 19 Mbappe broke out at the 2018 World Cup, helping France to the trophy with four goals. He became the youngest Frenchman to score at a World Cup and just the second teenager (the other was Pele) to score in a World Cup Final. Mbappe earned Best Young Player honors for his efforts as well as the French Player of the Year award for 2018. Mbappe has scored 16 goals in 39 caps for France since being called up in 2017, including three during France’s most recent qualifying run for Euro 2020.
The speedy striker has been even more potent for his club team, Paris Saint-Germain, with whom he has netted 65 goals in 67 appearances since joining the team full time in 2018. The 22-year-old has found the back of the net 16 times in 24 appearances during his most recent campaign with PSG. Mbappe has also won the last four straight Ligue 1 titles (the first with Monaco, the last three with PSG) as well as two Coupe de France titles and two Coupe de la Ligue trophies as well.
Mbappe is one of the front runners to win top goalscorer honors at this summer’s tournament, but he could also be in with a shout for the Most Outstanding Player award as well. One would have to think that Mbappe will build on what he did in the World Cup with a similar roster of high-quality teammates around him and three more years of experience to add to the considerable quality he already possessed. France is in a tough group, so whether or not they win Group F is anyone’s guess, but as long as they get to the knockout stage, they’re going to be a threat and a great bet to go all the way and win their second major international football tournament in a row.