Kylian Mbappe is 24 games into his international career.
In those 24 games he’s scored nine times. Karim Benzema had scored six goals for Les Bleus by the time he’d racked up 24 caps.
Stick with us. Benzema spent five seasons in French football, winning four Ligue 1 titles, two Trophée des Champions and a Coupe de France with Lyon.
In that respect he’s got the upper hand on Mbappe, who’s won two Ligue 1 titles, one Coupe de France and one Coupe de la Ligue with Monaco and PSG.
Had life panned out differently both would be world champions.
But only Mbappe can claim that title.
Go back to the happier times in Benzema’s international career.
It felt pointed when Benzema took the no.10 shirt previously worn by Zinedine Zidane.
Both were proud of their Algerian roots. Both possessed natural grace with the ball. Both survived the uncompromising pressure required to make it at Real Madrid.
But, while Zidane was held up as a hero, Benzema was discarded and blacklisted by the French Football Federation.
Since playing his last game for France- a 4-0 win against Armenia in which he scored twice- Benzema has won three consecutive Champions Leagues, La Liga, the Spanish Super Cup, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups.
However, for reasons that require their own article, or maybe a tell-all book, Benzema’s France career looks over.
After ten seasons at the Bernabeu, and with Madrid having lost a galactico in Cristiano Ronaldo, his current club career could also coming to a close.
Hence the Mbappe comparison.
France’s current no.10 is the most obvious galactico-in-waiting since Florentino Perez convinced Sir Alex Ferguson to sell him a virus in 2009.
Watching Mbappe, it’s impossible not to see shades of Ronaldo and Ronaldo.
The raw athleticism. The razor sharp football IQ. The pace. The terrifying pace.
He’s got the on-pitch ability and off-pitch exuberance to carry Madrid for the next decade, or at least play a pivotal role in widespread success as Benzema has done.
Now it’s just a question of sitting down to an expensive game of poker with PSG.
READ MORE FROM THE WORLD OF FOOTBALL:
- The rise, fall, rise, fall and rise of Ryan Babel’s international career
- How Kieran Gibbs went from the future of England’s defence to a Championship left-back in four years
- FIFA have announced the nominees for their 2018 World XI and they are… interesting
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