Raphael Varane believes Paris Saint-Germain youngster Kylian Mbappe is an “alien” who could win the Ballon d’Or.
Mbappe, 19, is coming off a strong showing at the World Cup in which he scored 4 goals including one in the final that helped France defeat Croatia to secure their second trophy in World Cup play.
“If he does not win the next Ballon d’Or, we will tell him that it is not normal — we will yell at him” Varane said, according to L’Equipe.
“Yes, Kylian is a more precocious talent than I was. His intelligence and maturity really left an impression — his talent is monstrous.
“I have known some extra-terrestrial talents in my time, but I think that this is the first time that I have met a young alien! Everything moves quickly. When I speak tactics with him prematch, I do not have time to finish my sentences — he has already understood and assimilated it.
“Whatever happens, I advise Kylian to keep playing the same role for Les Bleus — he will certainly become even more important over the years. He should continue to do what he knows how to do, without trying to burden himself by doing too much, and stay this way — he should remain focused on his role for the team.
“You cannot demand of somebody just 20 years old to fill the role of a 35-year-old veteran. When you burst onto the scene early like Kylian has, expectations are high.”
Midfielder Blaise Matuidi has heaped praise on Mbappe as well and believes his World Cup performance was his introduction to the entire world.
“We knew that we had a phenomenon among us,” Matuidi said, according to Le Parisien. “To do what he did against Argentina in the round of 16, though, that is something else … I tipped my hat to him that day.
“Europe already knew it, but the entire planet was made aware of Kylian on that day — he is on track to become a Ballon d’Or winner in the next few years.”
“He has very good people around him, with a football-focused brother, as well as a mother and father who are there,” said Matuidi. “However, when he joined the squad for the first time, we could not just tell him that everything was beautiful and great — we had to play our part. That involved telling him certain things, particularly early on.”
Mbappe couldn’t be more happy.
“Having made the French people happy is priceless,” Mbappe told TF1. “My life is changing every six months, or year, and it will change again. However, it will not change my way of life too much.
“People thought I was crazy, perhaps arrogant [when he said France should target winning the World Cup pre-tournament]. It was just pure ambition, though. When I see what I have achieved, I tell myself that it was a good thing that our ambitions were so high.”
“I want to relive this unique sensation. In Qatar, come 2022, or the Euro before that in 2020 — the goal is to win, win, win.”