Mbappe Switches Allegiances From Ronaldo as Frenchman Declares Messi 'the World's Best Player'
07:58 GMT 08.12.2021 (Updated: 14:27 GMT 25.10.2022)
© AP Photo / Christophe EnaPSG's Lionel Messi, left, celebrates with PSG's Kylian Mbappe after scoring his side's third goal during his Champions League soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and RB Leipzig at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021
© AP Photo / Christophe Ena
Long before Kylian Mbappe earned a name for himself in the football world by leading France to FIFA World Cup glory in 2018, he had publicly stated his admiration for five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the Frenchman no longer considers the Portuguese marksman as the "best".
French international Kylian Mbappe has made a U-turn on his earlier statement declaring Manchester United ace Cristiano Ronaldo the finest footballer on the planet after he called his current Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) teammate Lionel Messi as the "best player in the world".
The 22-year-old footballer's latest remarks about Messi came after the Argentine and Mbappe combined to fire two goals each to secure PSG's emphatic 4-1 victory over Club Brugge in a Champions League encounter on Tuesday night.
"It's easy to play with Lionel Messi. He's the best player in the world. He won the Ballon d'Or a few days ago. He scored two goals today, he is happy, and I hope he will help us in the future," Mbappe said after the game.
Mbappe's liking for Ronaldo isn't a secret to anyone in the sport, but Messi's arrival at Parc des Princes seems to have made a deep impact on both the French star's mind and heart.
Mbappe idolised Ronaldo during his formative years and much of it stemmed from the fact that he always wanted to play for Real Madrid, especially when the Portugal skipper was around at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Earlier this year, well before Messi severed his long-standing ties with boyhood club Barcelona for PSG, Mbappe was asked whom he would prefer between the Argentine wizard and CR7.
The former AS Monaco striker gave no second thoughts about picking Ronaldo at that point of time.
"Ronaldo or Messi? Cristiano Ronaldo, for sure. I could never speak ill of him. Even when he doesn't have the best performance, he still plays well," he responded to a reporter's question.
While it is highly implausible that Ronaldo is no longer Mbappe's hero, after seeing Messi from close quarters and knowing him in-person in Paris seems to be having a domino effect on the World Cup winner.
When Messi took the PSG plunge and arrived in the French capital, many people felt that he was cold to Mbappe, but the legendary footballer seems to have proved them wrong with his bonding with his much younger teammate.
Currently, the respect and love they have been showing to each other, particularly on the field, points towards the beginning of a great friendship.
At the moment, the duo seems inseparable and both of them love to have each other around.
Messi's relationship with Mbappe could get much stronger if the celebrated pair somehow manages to lead PSG to an elusive UEFA Champions League (UCL) title next year.
And if PSG does secure the UCL crown, alongside the Ligue 1 trophy this season, with both Messi and Mbappe around at the same time, the French star's stance about his future with the Paris-based club could also change.
After all, who would want to leave a winning team, especially when it could emerge as one of the most dominant clubs in Europe.