Football

Comparing Kylian Mbappe’s debut season to that of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar

Kylian Mbappe celebrates after scoring

Young French sensation Kylian Mbappe has taken world football by storm this season. Aged just 18, the Monaco forward has shown glimpses of superstardom. Mbappe has already scored 19 goals in 33 appearances for Monaco this season and has been compared to France and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

Mbappe is being monitored by almost all the top clubs across Europe including Real Madrid and Barcelona. While Monaco are adamant Mbappe is not for sale, he is bound to leave them for a bigger club one day or the other.

Also Read: 5 Players Guardiola should sign for Manchester City this summer

Here we compare Mbappe's stats to those of the best players in the world in their first full season, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo:

 

Cristiano Ronaldo 

 

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United beats Ivan Campo of Bolton Wanderers during the Barclays Premiership match between Manchester United and Bolton Wanderers 

 

The 4 time Ballon D'or winner made his debut for Manchester United in 2003 as a 60th-minute substitute at the same age as Mbappe. Ronaldo had to wait up till November for his first goal when he scored a free kick against Portsmouth. The Portuguese scored only 4 goals in 29 appearances, mostly because 14 of them were as a substitute. In the next season he started 25 games, but only scored 5 goals, considerably less as compared to Mbappe's 19.

 

Lionel Messi 

 

Lionel Messi (R) of Barcelona is tackled by Gonzalo Rodriguez of Villarreal during the Primera Liga match between Villarreal and F.C. Barcelona

The Argentine magician made his debut for Barcelona in the 2004-05 season but was mostly used as a substitute. It was in the next season where he started a considerable number of games. Messi scored 8 goals in the 25 games he played that season but he did not play for three months due to an injury. Mbappe's stats are much better than the little maestro, but it needs to be considered that he is a striker, whereas Messi played as a right winger and was more involved in goal making. But the comparison still shows the brilliant start Mbappe has had to his career.

 

Neymar 

 

Neymar of Brazil (R) controls the ball under pressure from Jorge Enriquez of Mexico during the Men's Football Final between Brazil and Mexico

 

The Brazilian superstar started his senior career at Brazilian club Santos and made his debut when he was only 17 years old. Like Kylian Mbappe, Neymar too had a fruitful first season as he racked up 14 goals in 48 games, a good return for a 17 year old kid. Neymar went on to score 42 goals in his next season and shot to prominence from there on. Barcelona showed an interest and eventually snapped him up in 2013.

 

While Mbappe has better stats as compared to the best names in world football, he cannot take his success for granted and should continue to work hard if he is to reach their level. While there is no doubt he has the pedigree, he should keep his feet grounded and take wise decisions. If he manages to do that, there is no doubt he will be one of the best players in the world in a few years' time.

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