The former England striker thinks that the PSG superstar is already a global phenomenon but will need longevity to be considered one of the best ever
Gary Lineker thinks that Kylian Mbappe can reach the same levels as Cristiano Ronaldo but believes that Lionel Messi’s talents put him on a different level to what anyone else in the game can hope to achieve.
Having won the golden boot for the third time in a row in Ligue 1 and enjoyed another stellar season, the 22-year-old heads into the European Championship as one of the game’s top forward players.
And Lineker feels that Mbappe, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid in the summer, is already a global phenomenon and may need to move to the Liga giants to further his career.
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What’s been said?
“Mbappe is already a global superstar who is most likely to jump in the shoes of Ronaldo, but not Messi – he can do things that others simply can’t,” Lineker told Goal.
“Talent-wise, there’s no question. It’s more about whether he has the same drive to sustain his career over 17, 19 years like the two of them (Ronaldo and Messi). It’s quite remarkable and it takes something special to do that.
“Ability-wise, he could go on to do those things with big rumours about Real Madrid. Does he need to move on from PSG to realise his ambitions of greatness? Maybe, I don’t know, but I don’t think it will distract him from the tournament itself.
“It always is about the next generation. We saw it in the Champions League but I think it was more that Barcelona and Juventus have weak teams in transition at the moment.
“Messi, this calendar year, has scored more and got more assists than anyone else. Ronaldo is still banging in loads of goals. They are phenomenal.
“We saw Erling Haaland and Mbappe coming through in the Champions League and we will see it again at the Euros, with Mbappe. Hopefully, with one or two England lads like Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Jadon Sancho [also doing well].
“I love Sancho and I think people will be surprised how good he is without watching as much foreign football. I am excited about Jude Bellingham, Nicolo Barella as well. There’s also a lot of quality within the France team.”
Who is in the France squad & who do they play at the Euros?
France, who are being widely tipped to go far in the tournament, get their Euro 2020 campaign underway with a tough test against Germany on June 15.
Didier Deschamps’ side then take on Hungary in their second fixture of Group F, before finishing the group phase against Portugal on June 23.
Gary Lineker is part of the BBC football team. Follow Euro 2020 on the BBC across TV, radio and online this summer.
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