-By Nicholas Lavinio
Messi falls to France in the first stage of the Knockout Round. Ronaldo was nonexistent in Portugal’s game against Uruguay. Neymar flopped to his defeat against a juggernaut in Belgium in the Quarterfinals. A Spanish side, one of the heavily favorited sides to win, is stunned in the upset match of the tournament by a Russian team hungry to survive. What’s left – a French National Team that hoisted the trophy on a very rainy day in Moscow, a team that featured the world’s next superstar phenom in a 19 year-old speedster named Kylian Mbappe.
There is no question that the French teenager will be one of the world’s next best players in the coming years (if he already hasn’t convinced you otherwise in his current form and play in Russia). Becoming the first teenager to score in a World Cup Final since history’s greatest player ever, Pele, Mbappe has the future of football firmly grasped in his hands. Some may say Neymar is fashioned to retain the title as the world’s best, but with Mbappe’s World Cup title already secured under his belt at just NINETEEN YEARS OLD, it’s tough to consider Neymar in that conversation, especially when Brazil is always a heavy favorite to win the World Cup almost every time it comes around every 4 years.
When can we start to see the Ballon d’Or trophies rolling in for Mbappe? As early as this year, in fact! According to Rob Hoskin at givemesport.com, Mbappe is the third favorite to win the Ballon d’Or this year, behind an impressive early campaign authored by Luka Modric (Champion’s League Winner and World Cup Runner-Up), the 32 year-old, and none other than – yup, you guessed it – Ronaldo. In the near future, as we start to see the stars that we love so dearly grow old, such as Ronaldo and Messi, Mbappe will be challenged by the likes of Neymar, Kevin De Bruyne, and I would say Harry Kane, if he keeps up his stellar form, for runs at the Ballon d’Or each year.
But for me, I am all in on this kid. Kylian Mbappe has everything to succeed in the future – the speed, the build, and the skills and flare. From making history at the 2018 World Cup in Russia to being awarded the Best Young Player Award at the tournament in this past month, the already teenage legend is poised to take the throne as the King of Football in due time. He is this generation’s successor to greatness, and only time will tell of the pages he will spell out in the history books to be written.
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