With the 2018 Ballon d'Or just around the corner, teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe has made a huge claim about who deserves to win the accolade. According to the Frenchman, it is not Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, but thinks his World Cup heroics makes him a worthy winner of this year's prize.
The stocks of the 19-year-old skyrocketed during this year's World Cup, in which he played an instrumental role guiding France to the title, and ending the Les Blues' 20-year long wait for the coveted trophy. He scored four goals in the tournament and one of them came in the 4-2 final victory against Croatia, in which he became just the second teenager after Pele in 1958 to score in the final.
The French wonderkid who left football fans awestruck by producing a series of spectacular performances, received the Golden Boy award of the tournament. Carrying his red-hot form into this season, the PSG forward is showing no signs of stopping. He currently is the Ligue 1's leading goalscorer with 11 goals to his name.
While Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi remain the front-runners for the award, winning it a record five times each, Kylian Mbappe feels his achievements should speak for himself.
"Nobody is doing better at the moment and we can't say it's the end of their era because it will only end when somebody else does better than them," Mbappe told AFP.
However, the young striker added that the performances at the World Cup will play a major role in deciding the winner. While Mbappe thrived at the World Cup, Messi's Argentina and Ronaldo's Portugal bowed out in the last 16.
"I don't think one of them will win the Ballon d'Or this year because it was a World Cup year, and the World Cup takes precedence."
"But if you take the player in the purest form, there's nobody better yet. This year they were again the best two," added Mbappe. "Messi finished the best goalscorer in Europe; Ronaldo was the top scorer in the Champions League."