Kylian Mbappe has admitted that he tells himself he is better than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo before matches while discussing the importance of having an inflated ego.
Mbappe has been touted as the man to take over as the best player in world football when Messi and Ronaldo finally hang up their boots, having enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence at Paris Saint-Germain over the past four years.
The 22-year-old says he already ranks himself above the Barcelona star and Juventus striker as a self-motivation ploy, with it his belief that it is crucial to have an arrogant streak if you have designs on reaching the very highest level of the game.
What’s been said?
“The ego? Of course, it’s important because when you’re in the rough, no one else is going to push you,” Mbappe told RMC Sport. “And you have to convince yourself that you are capable of toppling mountains.
“People don’t understand ego but when you are not well there is no one who will come to your house to tell you that you can do that. It’s just you and your mindset. It’s just you. You have to convince yourself that you are capable of doing great things.
“Every time I go on a pitch I always tell myself that I’m the best and yet I have played on grounds where there was Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. They are better players than me, they have done a billion more things than me. But, in my head, I always tell myself that I’m the best because that way you don’t give yourself limits and you try to give your best.”
The PSG talisman added: “Of course, sometimes people do not understand because I think there is perhaps also this barrier which is created in relation to this subject, where one does not really explain what the ego is.
“For people, the ego is just not giving a friend a penalty, having a better salary than the player of the rival team. It’s not just that, it’s also in the preparation. It’s a personal thing, to surpass yourself, it’s way beyond that superficial thing of saying ‘me, me’. But I think there is quite a bit to be said about it.”
How does Mbappe compare to Messi and Ronaldo?
Mbappe has already achieved more in the first six years of his professional careers than most players do by the time they hang up their boots.
The France international, who started out at Monaco before joining PSG in 2017, has already won ten domestic trophies, including four Ligue 1 titles, while scoring 150 goals across all competitions.
He is also a World Cup winner, having played a key role in Les Bleus’ run to Glory in Russia three years ago – an achievement that Messi and Ronaldo have yet to match for Argentina or Portugal.
However, Messi and Ronaldo have shared 11 Ballon d’Or’s between them over the last 12 years, with the former the top scorer in Barca’s history and the latter in Real Madrid’s hall of fame for the same reason.
Mbappe has a long way to go before he can be mentioned in the same bracket as two of the greatest players of all time, but he could be a contender for the 2021 Ballon d’Or if he continues on his current trajectory – which would be a huge step in the right direction.
How has Mbappe performed for PSG in 2020-21?
Mbappe’s stellar performances upfront have helped PSG challenge for the Ligue 1 crown and Champions League glory once again this season.
The France international has hit 30 goals in 36 games to date, while also setting up a further nine for his team-mates.