- French striker named in the FIFA FIFPro Men’s World11 2019
- He’s in love with what he does: “Football is not a job for me.”
- PSG visit Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday
He may only be 20 but Kylian Mbappe has put together an outstanding career already. A world champion at the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018™, a three-time French Ligue 1 winner with Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco, and twice a member of the FIFA FIFPro Men’s World11 (in 2018 and 2019), Mbappe has achieved much in the game so far.
The young French prodigy is in no way tired of winning, however, and spoke to FIFA.com about the challenges that lie ahead in his career.
FIFA.com: You burst into the football elite at a very early age. How have you managed to keep a cool head in spite of it all?
Kylian Mbappe: My desire to win! We won the World Cup, which was fantastic, but you only get three weeks before the league and the Champions League starts up again, so there’s no time to rest. You have to maintain that high standard if you want to keep on winning. If you don’t have that desire, then you might just think that you’ve done it all and you just sit back and take it easy. But when you want to keep on winning, there are always opportunities to show that you can get even better.
What are your objectives now?
Obviously, I’d try to win the World Cup again if I could, but I’d also like to win the trophies I haven’t won yet, and that includes the Champions League, of course. It’s the club competition you dream about winning as a player. I’m lucky enough to know players who’ve won it, and I watch them and learn from them. I hope I can win it one day too.
The Champions League has been an objective of PSG’s for several seasons now, an objective that continues to elude the club. Does that put extra pressure on the players?
No. There are 32 teams that want to win it, and 31 of them are going to end up disappointed. The most important thing is just to focus on what we do, which is something we’ve learned from previous experiences. There were changes this summer, which were positive for me, but we’re not going to think too much about that. We’re going to work hard and go about it calmly too. We’ve got great players here and we’re aiming to create a real team. I think we’re on the way to doing that.
How have you changed since you turned professional?
I’ve matured. I’m more experienced. I’ve learned a lot from all the successes and failures. My career will be built over the next ten or 15 years and what I’m doing right now is laying the foundations. I’m going to keep on doing that. Let’s see where it takes me.
Did your life change after winning the World Cup?
Absolutely. We brought the country together. Everybody knows who we are and we get so much more attention now. It’s hard sometimes, but we’re getting used to it because it’s a good thing. People take more of an interest because we did well.
You were born after France won the World Cup in 1998, and your national team coach, Didier Deschamps, was one of the most important players in that team…
He was the captain! He’s been fortunate enough and talented enough to win it as a player and a coach, which is a historic achievement. It was fantastic for me to have him as a role model. I love working with people whose names have gone down in history.
Are you a football fanatic or do you switch off as soon as you walk off the pitch?
Yes! Football is not just a job for me. My dream came true when I started playing football and turned professional, and I get to live that dream every single day. I watch all the games in all the leagues and I never get bored. I love it!