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How does Kylian Mbappe compare to Cristiano Ronaldo at the same stage of his career?

Is there a better teenager in world football than Kylian Mbappe?

It was never going to take long.

Comparisons between Kylian Mbappe and a young Cristiano Ronaldo are coming in quicker than you can say ‘The next Lionel Messi’.

But unlike the host of Argentinian youngsters who have been crushed by Messi tags, Mbappe doesn’t look fazed by any of the Ronaldo links.

So how do their early careers match up?

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The back page announcing Ronaldo’s arrival in Manchester

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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The back page announcing Ronaldo’s arrival in Manchester

Breakthrough season

Mbappe is so good at the ol’ football that he had two breakthrough seasons rather than one.

In a few fleet-footed showings in the second half of the 2015/16 season he broke two Thierry Henry records to become Monaco’s youngest player and youngest goalscorer. Greedy.

His real breakthrough came the following campaign, when he scored 26 goals in his first full season of football, including six Champions League strikes.

 

By contrast Ronaldo scored five goals in all competitions for Sporting CP, three of which came in the Portuguese league.

Ronaldo’s collection of tricks and ability to embarrass defenders in a whole host of ways was arguably more eye catching than Mbappe’s sheer pace and agility.

But in terms of end product and pure numbers, it’s 1-0 Mbappe.

Record breaker

AFP - Getty
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Record breaker

First major transfer

Everyone knows the story of United’s players begging Sir Alex Ferguson to sign Ronaldo after he played them off the park in a pre-season friendly.

His journey to Manchester was a straightforward exchange of £12.24million, which made him the most expensive teenager in English football history.

The only hiccup along the way was the jumper Ronaldo chose to wear when he was unveiled at Old Trafford.

You can’t unsee it

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You can’t unsee it

We still don’t really understand how Monaco allowed Mbappe to end up at PSG on loan.

A move normally reserved for a whippersnapper right-back or ageing centre mid that no one actually wants to buy saw Mbappe join Neymar and Edinson Cavani in Europe’s most dangerous attacking trio.

When he does eventually move he’s expected to cost £166mil. You can keep the change.

When you’ve got cold hands

AFP or licensors
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When you’ve got cold hands

The international stage

The acid test for any youngster is how they handle themselves on the international stage.

The international stage is about the only place Mbappe is yet to look completely at home, although he has shown flashes of brilliance.

In eight games for France the 18-year-old has scored one goal, the fourth in a 4-0 win against Holland in August.



Guess how many goals Ronaldo had after eight caps? Yep, eight.

But he’s more than made up for his slow start and now stands on 79 goals from 147 games.

Can Mbappe do the same? We don’t know, to be honest. If we could predict the future we wouldn’t be writing this.

What we do know is that it’ll be fun to watch.


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