Kylian Mbappe “wants to be the No.1 just like Cristiano Ronaldo”, says Emmanuel Petit, with France urged to rein his ego in ahead of the World Cup.
- Claimed a global crown in 2018
- Now one of the best players on the planet
- Told to remember it is a team game
WHAT HAPPENED? The Paris Saint-Germain forward tasted global glory with Les Bleus back in 2018, but did fluff his lines at Euro 2020 when missing a decisive penalty against Switzerland in the last-16. There is no doubt that Mbappe remains a talismanic presence for Didier Deschamps’ side heading into Qatar 2022, but former France international Petit believes the 23-year-old also has the potential to be a disruptive influence if he is not managed correctly.
WHAT THEY SAID: Petit, who won the World Cup himself in 1998, has told CasinoEnLigne.ca: “When France lost to Switzerland, there were fights between players and even in the stands between families. There were arguments about the free-kicks, penalties etc. So I understand Mbappe is a huge player who has the right skills and qualities, he wants to be the number one just like Cristiano Ronaldo. I appreciate that, but he must understand as well that his ambition must not be a problem for his team. His ambition must help his team reach their targets and in the meantime, that will be good for him too. If Mbappe understands that he is at the service of the team, that will be a great statement for the team.
“He can have a big ego, that doesn’t matter, you need big egos on the pitch to win tournaments but that must not interfere with the balance of the team in the dressing room. If you are a player in the dressing room and you have the feeling that one player is causing too much trouble because it’s always ‘me, me, me’, It will be a problem in the dressing room. You find the balance between his ambition and the ambition of the team.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mbappe starred for France at the 2018 World Cup – being named Young Player of the Tournament while also netting four goals, including one in a 4-2 final victory over Croatia – and is now up to 59 caps for his country.
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WHAT NEXT FOR MBAPPE? France are due to open the defence of the World Cup against Australia on November 22, before going on to face Denmark and Tunisia in their other Group D fixtures.