Football News

Gary Lineker: Kylian Mbappe can emulate Cristiano Ronaldo, but not Lionel Messi

By Ben Green

Published: 13:14, 15 June 2021

Gary Lineker believes Kylian Mbappe can reach the heights of Cristiano Ronaldo but won’t be able to emulate Lionel Messi, who “can do things that others simply can’t”.

Mbappe, 22, has already catapulted himself to superstardom and is currently one of Europe’s most gifted players, winning silverware aplenty in his native France, as well as lifting the 2018 World Cup with Les Bleus, in which he became only the second teenager, after Pele, to score in a final.

Endowed with breakneck speed, elite ball control and an insatiable scoring appetite, Mbappe has all the attributes to stay at the top of the sport for the next decade, but former Barcelona forward Lineker does not believe the young Parisian can match the unprecedented feats of Messi.


18+ only. New customers only. UK only. Deposit £20 to receive free bets of £40. Free bets credited as four equal free bets of £10 each. All free bets unlocked when a total of £20 in of sports bets are placed and settled within qualifying period of 7 days. Minimum deposit amount is £20. Promotion T&Cs apply. Standard T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.

18+ only. New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from acceptance (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.

18+ only. A £10 Sportsbook free bet plus a £10 Exchange free bet. Min £5 bet on the SBK, min odds 1.5 (1/2). Rewards valid for 7 days. Free bets must be placed at min odds of 1.5 (1/2). Exchange free bet limited to certain markets. Payment restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.

First £20 refunded in cash, no bet limit T&Cs apply

18+ only. New customers only. Deposit £20 using Debit Card or Trustly. Up to your first £20 of losses will be refunded as CASH within 24 hours of qualifying bet having been settled. T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.

18+ only. New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here
Get up to £100 in bet credits T&Cs apply

18+ only. New customers only. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. BeGambleAware.

18+ only. T&Cs apply.

Claim Here
Get £30 in free bets when you place your first £10 bet T&Cs apply

18+ only • Min deposit £/€/$10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets are credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes are not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days, wins are capped at £/€/$500 • To withdraw bonus/related wins, you must wager the bonus amount up to 40 times its value within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Casino Bonus can be used on selected games in casino only • Restrictions apply to withdrawals, payment methods & countries & full T&Cs apply • BeGambleAware

18+ only. New customers only. T&Cs apply.

Join Here

“Mbappe is already a global superstar who is most likely to jump in the shoes of Ronaldo, but not Messi – he can do things that others simply can’t,” Lineker told Goal.

“Talent-wise, there’s no question. It’s more about whether he has the same drive to sustain his career over 17, 19 years like the two of them (Ronaldo and Messi). It’s quite remarkable and it takes something special to do that.

“Ability-wise, he could go on to do those things with big rumours about Real Madrid. Does he need to move on from PSG to realise his ambitions of greatness? Maybe, I don’t know, but I don’t think it will distract him from the tournament itself.”

“I love Sancho and I think people will be surprised how good he is”

Lineker went on to discuss the players he feels could make a splash at Euro 2020, earmarking Jadon Sancho as a someone who could surprise one or two people.

The Borussia Dortmund forward has impressed since trading Manchester City for the Ruhr Valley and is now a reported target of Manchester United.

Despite making Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the competition, the rising star was omitted altogether from his matchday squad for the Croatia opener.

Sancho, 21, finished the 2020/21 season with eight goals and 11 assists in the Bundesliga, but that was not enough to warrant a place on the Wembley bench on Sunday in Southgate’s eyes.

The Three Lions were pragmatic and dogged in their 1-0 win, in which Raheem Sterling netted the only goal of the game, but Lineker still believes Sancho is one of the nation’s brightest sparks despite the shun.

Lineker said: “We saw Erling Haaland and Mbappe coming through in the Champions League and we will see it again at the Euros, with Mbappe. Hopefully, with one or two England lads like Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho [also doing well].

“I love Sancho and I think people will be surprised how good he is without watching as much foreign football. I am excited about Jude Bellingham, Nicolo Barella as well. There’s also a lot of quality within the France team.”