Former Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas believes PSG forward Kylian Mbappe will take over the mantle of ‘world’s best player’ in the coming years.
At just 20 years old, Mbappe has already scored a combined 102 goals for club and country, winning three Ligue 1 titles and the 2018 World Cup.
Mbappe to rise to the top? Five things to know…
- Messi and Ronaldo have won 10 of the last 11 Ballon d’Or awards.
- Mbappe came fourth in the 2018 edition.
- The 20-year-old has already won three Ligue 1 titles and a World Cup.
- Mbappe was the top scorer in Ligue 1 last season with 33 goals.
- Fabregas believes he will take over as the world’s best player in the coming years.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won 10 of the last 11 Ballon d’Or awards and are widely considered the two best players in the world right now.
But Monaco midfielder Fabregas believes Mbappe, who came fourth in the Ballon d’Or voting in 2018, will be the one to take their place soon enough.
“He’s a phenomenon. He’s clearly going to be the best player in the world in the future,” Fabregas said of Mbappe.
“I always think like a midfielder and if I had him in front of me I’d be giving him assists all the time because he’s so fast, explosive, but he’s also very clever in slipping his markers.
“He has his timing down perfectly. [Thierry] Henry and Diego Costa were also brilliant at that. The thing that stands out about Mbappe is that he’s so hungry, he knows how to exploit his ability.”
Finding another Messi is “impossible”
Despite championing Mbappe as the next elite footballer, Fabregas still believes the task of finding another Messi is “probably impossible”.
The Spaniard spent three seasons alongside Messi in the Barcelona first team between 2011 and 2014, winning a La Liga and Copa del Rey title, while the two are also products of the club’s famed La Masia academy.
Fabregas claims to have witnessed unbelievable skills from the Argentine during that time and believes he’s “been the best since he was 18 years old”.
“I think that’s probably impossible,” Fabregas told AS when asked if there will ever be another Messi.
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“We’ve seen the likes of Ronaldo and Ronaldinho, amazing players, but Messi has been the best for 15 years. He’s in his 17th season and he’s been the best since he was 18 years old.
“I’ve seen things you wouldn’t believe. Every three days he scores goals, he heads off to play for Argentina, he comes back jet-lagged and scores a hat-trick… that’s not normal, believe me.
“I would have liked to enjoy playing more with Leo. I had a bit of bad luck in that respect. The first season we had together we had a great understanding. But the two following seasons was when I had my worst time with injuries. I wasn’t at my best at key moments and that affected everyone, including Leo.”