As the 2022 FIFA World Cup continues, besides the familiar Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the 23-year-old striker from France, Kylian Mbappe, is also a key figure that cannot be ignored.
From the moment 19-year-old French star Kylian Mbappe won the World Cup for his country in 2018, his name has been making waves around the world. With his excellent ball skills, physical strength, aggressive guts and unafraid generalship, he basically brings a lot of pressure to opponents whenever he is on the pitch, forcing them to defend and causing mistakes.
In the 2022 World Cup, He has even contributed 5 goals and 2 assists, making him the favorite to win the Golden Boot at this year’s World Cup. He scored once against Australia and twice against Denmark in the preliminary round to break the curse of the reigning team’s failure to qualify for the knockout rounds, and scored twice against Poland in the round of 16 to advance the team to the last eight and continue their quest to defend their title.
Whenever he has the ball and catches a fast attacking single, his amazing dribbling and passing skills are as amazing as magic. It’s unimaginable that he has the same kind of momentum that many people feel nervous about on this big stage. From the age of 19 to 23, he still has that advantage, and his future is unlimited.
Now let’s get to know more about this new generation of soccer superstar through the following 10 little things about Mbappe.
Comes from a sporting family
Mbappe was born in Paris, France in 1998. His father is a soccer coach and his mother is a retired handball player. From a young age, Mbappe was influenced by his father and started playing soccer at the age of 4, and fell in love with the sport. His younger brother Ethan Mbappe and half-brother Jires Kembo Ekoko are also professional footballers.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s number one fan
Although Mbappe wore the number 10 shirt for France, he wore the number 7 shirt for his home team, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), as a tribute to his childhood idol Cristiano Ronaldo, and he has had Ronaldo posters all over his room since he was a kid, hoping that he would one day be as big as him in football.
Football’s “Jamaican Lightning”
Apart from his goal-scoring skills, Mbappe’s greatest strengths are his explosive power and speed. Last year, he ran the fastest speed of 39.2 km/h in the World Cup, and this year, he ran the fastest speed of 35.3 km/h against Poland, so fast that defenders can only hope to catch him. “The Jamaican Lightning Usain Bolt sprint record average is 37.6 km/h, which shows how fast Mbappe’s feet really are.
A rare super talent who has broken many records at a young age
With his exceptional talent and age-appropriate skills, Mbappe became famous at a very early age and broke many records, becoming the holder of various young records. These include the record for the ‘youngest goal’ in Morocco in Ligue 1 and the record for the ‘youngest four goals’ in Ligue 1 at PSG in 2018. Mbappe was also named to the national team at the age of 18, making him the youngest French national player ever.
In the 2018 World Cup, he scored his first World Cup goal in the group stage against Peru, and in the round of 16 against Argentina, he scored two goals in four minutes. In the championship match against Croatia, he scored another beautiful goal. With a total of 4 goals, he won the World Cup Youngest Player Award, and donated all the money after the match.
Mental strength and fearlessness in big games
Mbappe was a dark horse at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he was a surprise at the age of 18. He broke all kinds of records for the youngest player and helped France win the tournament. Now on the world’s highest stage again, Mbappe’s impressive performance so far in the Qatar World Cup is absolutely clear for all to see, once again showing a mental quality that makes you forget he’s only 23 years old.
The celebration for the goal came from his brother
Many players have their own signature gesture when they score a goal, and Mbappe certainly has one. The inspiration for the gesture came from his brother Ethan, who was playing a soccer video game and decided to use it after his brother scored a goal by crossing his arms over his chest. It is worth mentioning that this year’s World Cup Mbappe seems to have added another “rooster” like gesture to celebrate, but the meaning is still uncertain, maybe he will have to reveal it in the future.
Most expensive professional athlete of all time
Mbappe’s contract with PSG was about to expire last summer when it was rumored that La Liga Real Madrid was interested in recruiting the top player. Many French fans became worried, and even French President Emmanuel Macron came out to lobby for Mbappe to stay in Ligue 1. According to the foreign media, the contract is worth at least 630 million euros, breaking the record for the most expensive contract in the history of professional sports.
Passionate about charity
As the most expensive footballer in the world, Mbappe is in fact very passionate about charity work. Since the last World Cup, Mbappe has donated all of his appearance fees of around NT$690,000 per game, and he continues to do so this year, as well as founding the foundation “Inspired by KM” to help children living in poverty in France, and even visits hospitals to interact with children with mobility problems.
Hot model girlfriend is transgender
Mbappe was photographed with French model Ines Rau at the Cannes Film Festival in May of this year, and has been very open about her love. Rau, who is actually transgender, realized he was a girl at the age of 8 and started living as a woman at the age of 14 before undergoing gender reassignment surgery at the age of 16, revealed that he was afraid to be open about being transgender for a long time, but eventually decided to be himself and met his boyfriend Mbappe, who is nine years younger.
Love Air Jordan sneaker series
The only thing that really interests Mbappe is his sneakers, especially his Air Jordan collection, as opposed to the ultra-luxurious items such as cars and luxury homes. He can often be seen wearing the shoes of the series to attend occasions, and the classic shoes such as AJ1, AJ3 and AJ11 are the basic equipment for him. Even the Dior x AJ1, which took the sneaker world by storm two years ago, has been included in Mbappe’s collection.