Written by Ed of PSGTalk.com
When you talk about generational talents in world football, the name Kylian Mbappe should dominate the conversation. Mbappe burst onto the scene at AS Monaco at the ripe age of 18. During 2016/17, he led the principality club to a Ligue 1 title and an appearance in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
He left the following summer for Paris Saint-Germain and since then, all he’s done is win a FIFA World Cup with France and lead PSG to three Ligue 1 titles and an appearance in the Champions League final in 2019/20. Time flies when you’re collecting titles and breaking records, and now, at the outset of 2020/21, Mbappe has a major decision to make. Does the 22-year-old sign an extension with PSG or does leave next summer on a free transfer and join the club of his boyhood dreams, Real Madrid?
Let’s assume Mbappe decides the PSG dressing room has one too many stars and he wants to leave for Madrid to become not only the star of Los Blancos, but of La Liga as well. What would Mbappe bring to Madrid? Allow me to explain.
Real Madrid is a club steeped in history with a reputation of signing the world’s best footballers. The Santiago Bernabeu is often seen as the dream destination for a player once they’ve achieved a certain level of name recognition and accomplishments elsewhere. Mbappe fits that mould exactly, and the fact that he grew up with posters of Cristiano Ronaldo on his wall only makes this marriage even more inevitable.
Mbappe would bring the type of global attention that no one on the Madrid roster can match currently. The club would benefit from new commercial opportunities, which would help with any financial issues following stadium renovations, and give La Liga a much-needed marketing boost as well following Lionel Messi’s departure from Barcelona.
Mbappe’s greatest asset is his speed and, perhaps more importantly, his ability to run at pace with the ball at his feet. The way he can sprint, stop on a dime, and then blast past defenders with a variety of intricate step-overs and nutmegs is truly spectacular to watch. It’s Cristiano-esque, the way Mbappe plays.
If Madrid went with a front three of Mbappe and Vinicius on the wings with Karim Benzema as the striker, that’s a formidable attack that no defender will enjoy playing against. With the right midfield players, Mbappe is the ultimate counter-attacking player because he can outrun everyone to get on the end of a long pass into space. He plays an attractive brand of football that also results in a lot of goals (132 in 172 appearances at PSG).
I’ve never seen anyone hungrier to win than Mbappe. This is a player who wants to feature in every minute of every game regardless of the score and who the competition is. This year, if he was given permission from PSG, Mbappe would have played at Euro 2020 as well as the Olympic Games with France. If there’s a football match with a trophy up for grabs, Mbappe wants in.
This can be good and bad. You want a player who is this passionate, but it can backfire. While at PSG, Mbappe got into an argument with Thomas Tuchel a couple of times after the former manager had the audacity to sub him out early in matches that PSG were comfortably leading. If Madrid can harness this passion, they’ll essentially have Cristiano 2.0 – for the next decade.