Kylian Mbappe is one hell of a player and has already achieved great things. Perhaps it is too early to compare him to the greats of the past. Others would disagree and I am on the latter side of the argument.
Mbappe is now 24 and is clearly no longer a youngster but is still a young player who has so much ahead of him. On the World Cup front he has easily had a better start than Messi and Ronaldo as in 2 World Cups he has reached 2 World Cup finals and has won one of them. Furthermore, he has scored 12 World Cup goals already which is extremely impressive. On top of that Kylian Mbappe has scored more goals than Messi and Ronaldo at age 24.
However, statistics are not everything. If you were around to witness both Messi and Ronaldo in action in their early days you will easily notice that the two were both better. Messi when he was young was one of the biggest talents the world had ever seen along with a young R9. According to Barcelona president Joan Laporta, Inter Milan tried to sign a teenage Lionel Messi for 250 million euros. In today’s money that is over 350 million euros. That is simply ridiculous for a player so young at that time. If they had bought him then they weren’t even close to getting Messi in his prime.
The transfer record in 2006 was Andriy Shevchenko to Chelsea for 43 million euros. We don’t know for absolute certainty that this story is authentic but it has been heavily documented by various media outlets. In full honesty, it was likely that Inter offered so much money for him. But it goes to show you how good Lionel Messi was a talent.
Kylian Mbappe has a few more obstacles to overcome if he wants to be in that bracket of players. One of them is the Ballon d’Or. Cristiano Ronaldo won his first in 2008 when he was 23 and Messi won his when he was 22. Mbappe will have to win one fast if he is to get close to Ronaldo’s 5 Ballon d’Or’s or Messi’s 7. In addition, when Messi was 18 he had won his first Champions League. He did miss the final through injury but contributed to their campaign nonetheless. Ronaldo won the Champions League at 23 against Chelsea in Moscow. So Mbappe needs to get a move on if he is to compete with those two.
Another problem that Mbappe faces is that he is in the French league. It is harsh to call it a farmers league but if Mbappe spends a large chunk of his career in Ligue Un then there would constant scrutiny to whether he has performed at the top level.
But to answer the question, I don’t think Mbappe is close to the primes of Messi and Ronaldo. It should be noted that we may have not seen Mbappe’s prime yet but at the moment he is not there yet. Messi in his prime was an alien, an extraterrestrial a lethal marksman yet an incredible playmaker. As for Ronaldo, he was a goal-scoring robot who at his best was one of the most complete players of all time.
But what do you think? is Mbappe better than Messi or Ronaldo or does he not even lace the boots of either of them? Let me know.